A newly elected parliamentarian in Japan has used her platform to tackle LGBTI education in schools.
Sadako Tsujigami won the first round of elections in April for the House of Councillors, the country’s upper house of parliament.
On Tuesday (2 July) she used a plenary session to push the government about LGBTI education and anti-discrimination measures. Tsujigami argued that including LGBTI lessons in school would help reduce bullying and promote awareness.
‘I am LGBT, but I’ve been working hard to turn many life struggles into opportunities,’ she said in parliament.
‘The effects of education about LGBT are not only in study sessions, but also in daily activities.
‘Lawmakers have an opportunity for education that invites people who have published LGBT educational materials, prohibits improper treatment of LGBT, and actively works with officials who support LGBT.’
Tsujigami is a MP for the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP).
It would implement anti-discrimination legislation and legalize same-sex marriage if it wins this year’s elections.
The current ruling party in Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is not LGBTI friendly. In the past some of its lawmakers have made homophobic comments.
Tsujigami’s questions comes as shocking statistics reveal how hard school life is for LGBTI students in Japan.
A 2917 survey showed more than 50% of Japaneses LGBTI people were bullied at school. Nearly 70% of the Takarazuka University School of Nursing in Osaka of survey respondents said their teacher did nothing to help them.
Another study in 2017 revealed that many teachers outed their LGBTI students without consent.