Tanzanian govt bans children’s books on sex education for violating cultural norm

The Tanzanian government has banned children’s books on sex education for violating cultural norms.

Several children’s books on sex education, accused of contravening “cultural and moral standards” in this East African country where homosexuality is criminalized were banned.

“We are banning these books from schools and other educational structures because they are contrary to cultural and moral standards,” Education Minister Adolf Mkenda told reporters on Monday from the capital Dodoma.

Among the books banned is “Diary of a Wimp: Greg Heffley’s Logbook,” a series of American graphic novels that have sold millions of copies worldwide.

The government did not specify why it was targeting this “diary” featuring a teenager, but it assured that inspections were being conducted in public and private school libraries to ensure that it had been removed.

The minister also included in this first list of “unacceptable” books a textbook on sex education and books mentioning LGBTQIA groups.

Last week, the head of state Samia Suluhu Hassan called on student leaders to be wary of “imported cultures” from abroad. “If you are Tanzanian, live according to our culture,” she told them.

In Tanzania, homosexuality is punishable by a minimum sentence of 30 years to life imprisonment.

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