The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues. The Organization also serves as a clearinghouse – for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge – while helping Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields. UNESCO is working to create the conditions for genuine dialogue based upon respect for shared values and the dignity of each civilization and culture.
At its 197th session, UNESCO Executive Board adopted the Roadmap for UNESCO’s programme on preventing and addressing school-related gender-based violence (197 EX/SR.8)
In its Medium-Term Strategy for 2014-2021, UNESCO accords priority to gender equality in all its fields of competence supported by a dual approach, gender specific programming and gender mainstreaming, in Member States and within the Organization. UNESCO is fully engaged in pursuing this commitment through concrete, substantive programmes and initiatives in all its fields of competence (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002272/227222e.pdf) as captured in an organization-wide “Priority Gender Equality Action Plan for 2014-2021”.
UNESCO primarily addresses the following types of violence against women: inter-personal violence in and out of schools; trafficking in women; women in conflict and post-conflict situations (including the use of rape as a weapon of war). Activities cover various fields of education; the natural sciences; the social and human sciences; culture; and communications and information.
UNESCO has a two-pronged approach to violence against women:
1) A behavioural approach. Through education and with the help of ICTs, UNESCO seeks to build commitment to peace and non-violence in the minds of men and women. This includes the promotion of gender-sensitive human rights education and non-violent conflict resolution approaches. UNESCO’s Human Rights Education programme seeks to bring about a profound reform of education in order to transform attitudes and behaviours that condone violence. It touches upon curriculum development, in-service and pre-service training, textbooks, methodology, classroom management, and the organization of the education system at all levels.
2)A structural approach. Notably through its Social and Human Sciences and Culture Sector programmes, UNESCO looks at the structural causes of violence against women and seeks to encourage holistic and culturally appropriate policy responses towards their elimination.
UNESCO continues to carry out a series of studies which examine the family laws in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The UNESCO Office in Beijing initiated public awareness campaigns in Mongolia to strengthen the implementation of the law to combat domestic violence in local areas, engaging a broad range of stakeholders.Hide
The UNESCO, UN Women and UNFPA Joint Programme on Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women through Education is, in Tanzania, supporting the reform of discriminatory legislations for adolescent girls and strengthening coordination mechanisms on View More
The UNESCO, UN Women and UNFPA Joint Programme on Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women through Education is, in Tanzania, supporting the reform of discriminatory legislations for adolescent girls and strengthening coordination mechanisms on violence against women and girls.
Drafting of the UN-EU Spotlights Initiative for Nigeria, which will focus on fighting violence against women and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The UNESCO Communication and Information Sector conducted numerous activities in post-conflict countries, where an emphasis was put on women’s involvement in conflict resolution, peace-building, and reconstruction through better access to information. In this context, safety training for women journalists against violence and specific threats to foster security of women journalists in conflict and post conflict situations is strongly supported. UNESCO is following up on the development of its project on school-related gender-based violence in six post conflict countries in Africa.Hide
In implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325, UNESCO, in collaboration with partners from the University of Hull (UK) and the Center for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (South Africa), launched a research programme on women's rights for peace and security in post conflict democracies in Africa. The aim of this program is to develop policy recommendations that address obstacles, such as violence against women, to women’s full participation in and contribution to peace and security in post conflict countries in Africa. UNESCO organized, in 2005, a consultation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, engaging a wide range of stakeholders. It focused on the status of women in the Great Lakes region of Africa, covering also violence against women, especially sexual violence.Hide
UNESCO developed a project on school-related gender-based violence in six post conflict countries in Africa. This project is a follow up to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children.Hide
UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector has undertaken a programme of research on women's rights for peace and security in post conflict democracies in Africa. Researchers from 11 countries of the Great Lake Region, Sierra Leone and South Africa submitted papers on violence against women and the relationship between women’s human rights, peace and security in post conflict context, as well as recommendations for the way forward to be addressed to policy- and decision-makers.Hide
UNESCO continued its activities in post-conflict countries, including activities on women’s involvement in conflict resolution, peace-building, and reconstruction through better access to information.Hide
With the support of UNESCO’s Research and Documentation Centre for Women, based in Kinshasa (the Democratic Republic of Congo), a three-day workshop on “Sociocultural Approaches to Combating Sexual and Gender-Based Violence” was organised in Kinshasa from 9 to 11 December 2010. Several stakeholders discussed about the root causes of sexual violence and the role of stakeholders to combat it. Socio-cultural messages, strategies and activities to prevent violence against women were elaborated and stakeholders to implement those were identified.Hide
UNESCO created a digital library in Kazakhstan. There is also an online legal service which answers questions related to domestic violence, marriage and family, gender policy issues, and maternity.Hide