To enhance global coordination and advocacy around school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV), UNESCO continues to co-chair the Global Partners Working Group on SRGBV with the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). There are now over 40 organizations represented in this group which convenes routine gatherings to exchange technical knowledge and resources and plan joint action including at global meetings, events and advocacy platforms, such as the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence).
Knowledge and advocacy products produced include the policy paper, Let’s Decide How to Measure School Violence (2017), developed by UNGEI, UNESCO and the Global Education Monitoring Report Team.
The UNESCO, UN Women and UNFPA Joint Programme on Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women through Education in Tanzania supported the Ministry of Health Community Development, Elderly, Women and Children to establish Violence against women and children (VAWC) protection committee guidelines. This will support advocacy activities on girl child protection together with the Assessment of the Legal and Regulatory Framework on Girls’ Education led by UNESCO.
In Tanzania, with support from the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education, 2,500 girls were engaged in safe spaces/youth clubs in 40 secondary schools. Safe space members are encouraged to be role models that should be emulated by other students, and to be agents of their own transformation. 120 teachers and 620 students were trained on how to manage Safe Spaces using tools developed by UNESCO (Guidelines for Creating Safe Spaces, Safe Space Guideline for facilitators and Handbook and Resource book). To ensure ownership, for subsequent trainings, teachers are trained as trainers to impart to students and other teachers knowledge and skills. 82 teachers from the 20 project schools were also trained on gender responsive pedagogy, human rights education and anti-bullying as well as sexual and reproductive health education. 200 teachers from those schools trained in those concepts by their fellow teachers and 1,050 students were reached. This activity has resulted in the districts and teachers’ adoption of systems to create a bullying and discrimination free environment in their schools and improving teaching by taking into consideration the gender dimension.
School-related gender based violence in Samoa : In creating opportunities for youth for civic engagement, UNESCO supported youth-led actions by young students of the School of Media and Journalism, National University of Samoa to raise awareness of the public about school-related gender based violence (SRGBV) in 2017. The intervention included capacity building workshops for media students to understand the nature, causes and impacts of SRGBV and ethical reporting, who later led the production of a media series to address the issue of SRGBV. The activity allowed students to firstly understand the issue of violence in school and discuss the issue from their perspective and how it manifests in their learning context. Students later developed their own course of actions. Communication materials including posters, documentaries, radio broadcast and journal articles were produced by the team of students with technical assistance of UNESCO and their lecturers. In the Arab region, Beirut office organized a three days training workshop targeting young people to promote gender equality. The workshop shared good practices and lessons learnt from advocacy campaigns in preventing Gender Based Violence (GBV) and sought a way to build capacity of youth advocates/ campaigners in this area.
Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM): UNESCO continues to encourage media organisations to adopt self-regulatory measures and internal mechanism, and develop standards in media coverage on the basis of such resources. The Organisation will accompany and build their capacity to portray non-stereotyped images of both women and men, avoid sexist language, content and advertising, as well as overall content that may lead to hatred and gender-based violence. UNESCO will also encourage the media to provide information on complaints procedures concerning media content which the public may consider offensive or contrary to gender equality.
For example, a database online has been developed to ensure a wider representation of female experts in Arabic &French and one in South East Asia. The GSIMs once implemented into media organizations strengthen gender equality both in workplace operations and in content.