LABOUR leader Ed Miliband has declared his support for a campaign urging the government to radically change sex education in schools.
YES Matters, a nationwide movement launched by a Westhoughton woman, is staging demonstrations in Victoria Square, Bolton today, as well as in Downing Street and Albert Square, Manchester.
Gemma Aitchison, aged 27, started the movement in the wake of a decision from the House of Lords to reject plans from the Department of Education to make a new sex education programme mandatory in schools.
Ms Aitchison met with Mr Miliband to discuss the objectification of women in society after her 16-year-old sister Sasha Marsden was murdered by a hotel owner in Blackpool in January 2013.
Mr Miliband said: “As I have publicly said before, I fully support Gemma in her work and I agree that education is a vital part of making any real change.
“I am determined to continue working with her on tackling equality issues and maintaining a working relationship.”
A cornerstone of YES Matters’ campaign is that sex education should include making it clear to young men that pornography does not provide a true reflection of normal sexual behaviour.
Ms Aitchison also has the support of Labour peer Baroness Jones of Whitchurch, who said: “We believe that the time is right to address the failings of the Coalition’s piecemeal provision of SRE and put it on a proper footing to address 21st century challenges.”
“Our amendments would, for the first time, require SRE to be taught as a foundation subject in all key stages, in all state-funded schools, in an accurate, balanced and age-appropriate way.”