Comprehensive Sexuality Education

1. Context and background

2. Terminology

3. Laws and policies

4. Governance

5. Monitoring and reporting


1. Context and background

Côte d'Ivoire has high levels of maternal, neonatal, and infant mortality. In 2002, Côte d'Ivoire started the rewriting of school curricula by incorporating content on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) into two subjects: life and earth science, and education for human rights and citizenship. Through the ‘Zero Pregnancy in School’ campaign, the Accelerated School Pregnancy Reduction Plan (2013-2015) included educational activities in the classroom (life lessons), activities through school clubs, extracurricular activities, an offer to provide SRH services, and the use of information and communication technologies in 2012 (UNFPA, 2018). In 2016, the National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme of Côte d'Ivoire (2016-2020) was drafted.

2. Terminology

The National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme of Côte d'Ivoire (2016-2020) defines comprehensive sexuality education according to the UNESCO definition: ‘Comprehensive sexuality education is an educational programme designed to equip children and adolescents with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will enable them to have a positive view of their sexuality as part of their emotional and social development.’

3. Laws and policies

3.1. Relevant international/regional agreements to which the country is a signatory



Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

Ratified: 1995

Acknowledges the need to guarantee sexuality education free from discrimination and stereotypes, conveying gender equality values.


Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

Ratified: 1991

Commits to the right to access appropriate health-related information.


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Ratified: 2014

Commits to the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities.


International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Ratified: 1992

Acknowledges that the right to sexual and reproductive health is an integral part of the right to health.


UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

Ratified: 1999

Reaffirms that education is a human right. It highlights states' obligations to ensure free and compulsory education, bans any form of discrimination and promotes equality of educational opportunity.



3.2. Relevant national laws and policies mandating comprehensive sexuality education

The National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme of Côte d'Ivoire (2016-2020) was drafted in 2016. The document defines comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in line with the UNESCO definition: ‘a rights- based and gender-equality approach, in school or out of school’. CSE is a programme that aims to provide children and adolescents with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that will enable them to view their sexuality as an integral part of their emotional and social development.

The Education/Training Sector Plan (2016-2025) includes support for the acceleration of girls’ education, through a strategy of compulsory schooling and reductions in inequity and gender inequality). The following primary activities supports the implementation of this plan: I) awarding prizes of excellence for girls who have performed well in school; (ii) the supply of dry food rations to be taken home in the most disadvantaged areas to be taken home to keep more girls in school; (iii) the awarding of scholarships to vulnerable girls in the sixth grade; and (iv) the implementation of sustainable strategies for the fight against teenage pregnancies, in particular greater public awareness. Furthermore, the Plan emphasizes improvements in safety, hygiene and health in the school environment through ensuring: i) the production of modules on hygiene education and complete sexuality education; (ii) the setting of a minimum health standard for schools, and (iii) the construction of basic support infrastructure, such as separate blocks of latrines, hand washing facilities, drinking water points, and mechanical ventilation systems.

The National Policy of Sexual, Reproductive and Child Health (2020) provides a framework for creating strategic partnerships to address maternal and child health issues. It provides a guide to improving sexual, reproductive and child health. Point 3 covers adolescent and youth health and states that all ministries dealing with population issues, (particularly those in charge of education, health and women and family) as well as non-governmental organizations, and those working with adolescents and young people, are encouraged to implement the guiding principles. The Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene is mandated to integrate these guiding principles into its activities to offer quality sexual and reproductive health services to adolescents and young people. [...] The Policy further stipulates that sexual education must be age- and sex-appropriate. Adolescents and young people must have access to information on SRH and accessible services in line with their needs, including: access to the full package of integrated reproductive care, personalized advice, modern contraceptives, protection against forced marriage; and the prevention of sexual and other forms of violence; and the elimination of female genital mutilation. […] Reproductive rights include CSE, gender equity, and defending and promoting women's rights to change the health, legal, and education systems in line with these rights.


3.3. Curricula

Mandatory or optional

Sexuality education is not a mandatory subject.

Model of delivery

In Côte d'Ivoire, the Ministry of National Education, Technical Education, and Vocational Training addresses early and unintended pregnancies, HIV and topics relating to sexuality in the Health and Healthy Living Education programme.

Comprehensiveness of content

According to the National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme of Côte d'Ivoire (2016-2020), seven significant themes or units have been selected to share information, knowledge, and values with adolescents and young people to equip them to go through the transition from adolescence to adulthood with minimum risk. These are: the body, puberty and reproduction; interpersonal relationships and communication; values and attitudes; vulnerability factors; SRH; gender; and human rights for sexual health and well-being.

Learning resources

The National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme of Côte d'Ivoire (2016-2020) proposes the production of pedagogical and didactic materials for the implementation of educational programmes, and for the development of a CSE manual for trainers and learners.


3.4. Teachers

According to the to the National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme of Côte d'Ivoire (2016-2020), one of the strategic directions is to strengthen the capacities of formal and non-formal education actors. It proposes the production of educational guides to implement programmes that integrate life skills content into initial training structures.


3.5. Schools

The Zero Pregnancy in School campaign uses many out-of-school strategies to expand programme coverage, including listening and counselling centres. Other social contexts for young people are also used to disseminate messages and raise awareness about early and unintended pregnancy, sexuality, the use of condoms, etc.

According to the National Youth Policy 2021-2025, to address SRH in young people and adolescents, the Government has prioritized education, information, and health care, following the recommendations of the International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo in 1994. This has also involved several public sector institutions, NGOs and private organizations who work in these areas.


4. Governance

4.1 Responsible ministries

The Ministry of National Education, Technical Education, and Vocational Training addresses early and unintended pregnancies, HIV, and all topics relating to sexuality through the education for health and healthy living teaching subject. According to the to the National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme of Côte d'Ivoire (2016-2020), the sovereign mission of education assigned mainly to the Ministry of National Education requires actors in the sector to comply with national provisions, in conjunction with the other technical ministries involved: the ministries in charge of youth, culture, health, technical education and vocational training, women, family and child protection, sports, higher education, human rights, public freedoms and justice.

4.2. Level of responsibility/decentralization and autonomy

According to the National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme of Côte d'Ivoire (2016-2020), pedagogical units and teaching councils will be set up under the auspices of the school principal responsible for following the CSE programme.

4.3. Government budget allocation

No information was found.


5. Monitoring and reporting

The National Comprehensive Sexuality Education Programme of Côte d'Ivoire (2016-2020) states the importance of ensuring the coordination and monitoring and evaluation of the national curriculum for CSE. The strategy consists of developing monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and organizing supervision missions for the implementation of the Programme.

Última modificación:

Lun, 13/02/2023 - 13:09