Notions of ‘participation’ in sexuality education has gained considerable traction in recent years–with participation being regarded as a fundamental right and a critical means to empower young people. However, the notion has increasingly been subject of debate, with critics problematising the manner in which participation is operationalised, and questioning the assumed impact of participation in relation to sexuality education goals. This paper contributes to these debates by examining the under-researched gendered dimensions of participation of young people in sexuality education. It utilises data from a qualitative study conducted in 2015 on young women and men’s (10–15 years old) perceptions of their participation in the dance4life programme, an in-school sexuality education programme in Jinja district in eastern Uganda. The paper highlights subtle but important differences between young men and women’s participation in the programme, which are arguably reflective of existing gendered hierarchies. We conclude by providing recommendations on how to address gender differences in participation.
- gender differences
- sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Sexuality education
- youth participation