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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

Join UNESCO in marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women

You are invited to join UNESCO in marking the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women. Education is the theme of this year’s campaign and UNESCO is proud to be participating in raising awareness of school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV), including violence against women.

Panel discussion - 2nd December, New York

UNESCO and UNGEI are co-hosting a panel discussion on Wednesday 2nd December (10am at UNICEF House, New York) to discuss the role of education in a multi-sectoral response to violence against women.

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

Date: 2nd December, 10am – 12am followed by informal lunch

Location: UNICEF House, New York

As the global community moves to embark on the newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals, the need for sectors to stand together and work across silos has become paramount. While new commitments on the elimination of gender-based violence have been agreed, the education community has also recognized the need to provide ‘safe and supportive learning environments’ to enable all children to achieve their right to a quality education.

During these 16 days of activism against violence against women, UNGEI, UNESCO, UN Women, UNICEF and partners will host a panel discussion highlighting the importance of education in addressing gender-based violence, and present initial guidance on addressing school-related gender-based violence.

This panel discussion will explore how the education sector and other partners can join hands to respond to abuse that occurs within and around school settings. It will highlight the key role of education as a socializing mechanism that can contribute to the prevention of gender-based violence by challenging harmful cultural norms and nurturing societies that promote human rights and gender –justice.

Perspectives from teachers, young people and civil society will be complemented by presentations from decision makers in ministries of education and global partners culminating in a call to action from multiple partners to end school-related gender-based violence.

Proposed programme

Opening words: UNICEF (tbc)

Moderator: UNGEI Panel 1 (Presentations)

1. Young people as agents of change : Young female activist
2. Education as part of a multi-sectoral response to eliminating violence against women: Kalliopi Mingeirou, UN Women
3. Overview of guidance for education sector responses to GBV: Joanna Herat, UNESCO

Panel 2 (Panel Discussion)

4. Teachers as agents of change : Beverley Park, Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association (member of Canadian Teachers’ Federation)
5. Understanding violence in schools – the case of bullying: Changu Mannathoko, UNICEF
6. Schools and communities working together for change: Lincoln Ajoku, Concern Worldwide
7. Call to Action – 16 steps to eliminating school-related gender-based violence: Zara Rappaport, Plan International

Question and Answer with the audience

Background information:

School-related gender-based violence is defined as acts or threats of sexual, physical or psychological violence occurring in and around schools, perpetrated as a result of gender norms and stereotypes, and enforced by unequal power dynamics. It is a serious barrier to the achievement of a quality education for all, and a gross infringement of human rights and the rights of the child. The Global Working Group to end SRGBV was established in 2014 as a coalition of governments, development organizations, civil society activists and research institutions, who came together to collaborate on ending gender-based violence in and around schools. Task teams on research, advocacy and global standards were established to strengthen the evidence and monitoring and evaluation frameworks, develop operational guidance for national responses and collective campaigning. The global standards task team have contributed to the development of a Global Guidance on SRGBV to be launched by UNESCO and UNWOMEN. The working group has been a strong advocate to ensure that schools remain safe places for learning and that girls and boys have the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills and resources they need to reach their potential. In 2015, individual and collective advocacy from the working Group has led to significant gains in including discourse on gender based violence and discrimination in schools in the Incheon Declaration and within the framework for action of the Sustainable Development Goal #4 on education.

A Call to Action

Through the Global Working Group to end School-Related Gender-Based Violence we have launched a Call to Action on SRGBV. This call outlines the major actions required by any individual or organization working to achieve the goal of providing safe and supportive learning environments for all learners.

Join the conversation online

Between 25th November and 10th December we will be contributing to a series of blog posts (see http://bit.ly/srgbv16days) and a twitter chat on the 9th December – we encourage you to read and share these posts and to join the online conversation.


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