Don't undermine families when championing issues

Several aspects of the joint report on gender discrimination is disturbing and concerning to me, as a husband and a father (NGOs divided on gender report; Sept 30).

The report advocates a shift away from abstinence-based sexuality education in schools to "neutral, informative education, including a focus on gender equality".

I am not sure what this means exactly - but I am certain anything other than abstinence for school-going children runs counter to what many parents teach their children.

It also undermines the sanctity of marriage and will lead to serious and unwanted social problems in the longer term.

Similarly, the call to remove all "legal and policy" distinctions between single/unmarried parents and the traditional family nucleus unwisely legitimises broken marriages and relationships, and will impose tremendous costs on the state and society.

Such a move is the start of a slippery slope that will invariably lead to more broken families.

Finally, the report calls for a repeal of Section 377A, which is the section of Singapore's penal code that criminalises gay sex.

I do not understand how this relates to the work of these women organisations, but I certainly do not think this is a pressing issue that most women in Singapore face.

It is worrying that certain gender-based non-governmental organisations, such as the Association of Women for Action and Research, are using their platforms to champion fringe issues that are socially divisive and which seek to undermine the family unit.

I urge the Government, the Commissioner for Charities and members of these organisations to pay closer attention to their work.

Christopher Goh Chun Kiat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2017, with the headline 'Don't undermine families when championing issues'. Print Edition | Subscribe