The Negotiation of the Right of the Child to Education in the Name of Religion
2007 (English)In: Paper presented to the conference Religion on the Borders: New Challenges in the Academic Study of Religion Södertörn University College April 19 - 22, 2007, 2007Conference paper (Other scientific)
This paper discusses the negotiation process of Muslim Swedish girls’ right to knowledge in the name of cultural justice. The National Syllabus for The Swedish Compulsory School stipulates that all Swedish children must learn to swim before the 6th school year. However, some schools sign contracts with Muslim families that authorise Muslim girls not to take part in the compulsory swimming lessons at school. This paper aims to analyse how the National goals for the Compulsory Swedish School are shaped and reshaped at the municipality and school level in relation to the pupils’ religion and gender. It analyses also the question of how far the adaptation of the Compulsory National Goals can go without missing the right to equity of all pupils. The problems of negotiating the Muslims girls’ right to learn to swim in the name of cultural justice is also considered. The dilemma of multiculturalism and women’s right as well as the conflict between distributive justice and cultural justice are also presented. This contribution includes the analysis of the National Curriculum for the compulsory system, the Physical education and health syllabus, the National Swedish Education Act and material from the National Education Agency as well as School contracts with certain Muslim families and Muslim organisations in one Swedish Municipality. The schools’ and municipalities’ strategies to avoid responsibility in the question of Muslims girls’ swimming lessons put these pupils’ right to an equitable education at risk. Instead of creating practical solutions to allow these girls to enjoy the swimming lessons, some schools and municipalities leave the responsibility for the swimming lessons to the parents. If the schools have not possibilities to control if these pupils have learnt to swim, the right of all children to have the same access to knowledge is put in jeopardy in Sweden.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-13826OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-13826DiVA: diva2:41596