Eliminating Gender-based Violence: what is the role of education?

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© UNESCO

School-related Gender-based Violence (SRGBV) is a global phenomenon that cuts across geographical, cultural, social, economic, ethnic or other boundaries that deeply affect an estimated 246 million girls and boys. It is one of the main obstacles to the achievement of gender equality and has long-lasting consequences that affect the ability of a child to learn and stay in school.

With the Incheon Declaration, Member States and the entire Education Community ‘committed to supporting gender-sensitive policies, planning and learning environments; mainstreaming gender issues in teacher training and curricula; and eliminating gender-based discrimination and violence in schools.’ This idea was reinforced in The Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA) to provide guidance to put this commitment into action. Offering a strategic approach on ‘Emphasizing equity, inclusion and gender equality’, the FFA recommends that education systems act explicitly to eliminate gender bias and discrimination.

Starting on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2015, the “16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence” campaign this year draws focus on education. Launched in 1991, this campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

As part of the campaign, UNESCO with UNGEI, UN WOMEN, UNICEF and partners is holding a panel discussion on 2 December at UNICEF House, New York, on the importance of education in addressing Gender-based Violence and present global guidance on addressing SRGBV.

This panel aims at presenting different perspectives from governments, civil society, youth, teachers and global partners on how the education sector and other partners can combine their efforts to respond to abuse that occurs within and around school settings. Highlighting the key role of education as a socializing mechanism, they will further discuss how to challenge harmful cultural norms and nurture societies that promote Human Rights to contribute to the prevention of gender-based violence.

A Call to action, detailing the 16 steps to eliminating school-related gender-based violence, will be presented during the panel. New Global Guidance on for Education Sector Responses to SRGBV co-authored by UNESCO and UN Women due to be launched in early 2016 will also be presented at this panel.

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