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Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro vows to remove references to homosexuality from school textbooks

The right-wing president also wants to remove references to feminism and violence against women

2019-02-12

Words: Steve Brown

Brazil’s right-wing, homophobic president has vowed to remove references to feminism, homosexuality and violence against women from school textbooks.

Last month, Jair Bolsonaro – who once said “I’m homophobic, with pride” – was inaugurated into position of Brazil’s latest president and on the eve of his inauguration he tweeted: “One of the goals to get Brazil out of the worst positions in international education rankings is to combat the Marxist rubbish that has spread in educational institutions.”

And now Bolsonaro pledged to review the country’s national high school exam to remove questions on gender of LGBT+ movements, the Independent reported.

He made the announcement in a YouTube video after he saw a question from an exam last year on the ‘secret dialect used by gays and transvestites’ called Pajuba.

The language – which is a mixture of Portuguese and West African – is mainly used in Afro-Brazilian religions and has been adopted by the LGBT+ community in Brazil.

After seeing the question, Bolsonaro said: “Don’t worry, there won’t be any more questions like this.”

Since taking office, the diversity department in the education ministry was dismantled and a new set of guidelines were published that removed references to topics such as violence against women and sexism.

However, following criticism, officials backtracked on the texts, but education minister Ricardo Velez Rodriguez vowed to end the ‘aggressive promotion of the gender ideology’.

The president also quickly issued an order to remove the concerns of the LGBT+ community from consideration by the new human rights ministry.

He has also criticised what he calls ‘gender-based ideology’ and called it a threat to Brazil’s Christian values.