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.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UNESCO HQ organized a workshop on policies to prevent VAW. The workshop brought together different stakeholders who engaged in a dialogue on new ways to combat and prevent VAW and enabled them to make recommendations on concrete and realisable policies.Hide
Within the framework of UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), which is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries, and especially through radio broadcasting, the following projects have been developed: - “Capacity Building of Radio Journalists Working on Gender Violence” in Mexico: a series of workshops will be organized for 40 female and male community radio journalists in human rights, non-sexist language and gender based violence, with a view to enabling them to communicate and interact with other communities and with each other on issues pertaining to violence against women. The aim is to create gender-sensitive community radio programmes and increase the media coverage of issues related to gender based violence and discrimination against women. - “Radio Nari Aawaj” in Nepal. UNESCO and the NGO Hamro Aawaj, Hamro Sarokar (Our Voice, Our Concern) has established the radio station “Radio Nari Aawaj” (Radio Women’s Voice), a community radio station managed and operated by women living in the remote Jumla district. The aim of the radio station is to create and broadcast programmes on women’s rights and the elimination of violence against women. The target audience is rural women residents in 30 villages, as well as women living in four villages in the neighboring districts of Kalikot (West) and Dolpa (East). - “Enhancing Women's Roles and Voices in Media” in the Palestinian occupied Territory: the project seeks to provide training to rural women and girls on radio broadcasting, reporting skills and radio programme production to raise awareness of domestic violence and violence in schools, and inform the women of their rights. - “Rural Radio for the Youth and Women of Bukavu” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The project strives to give a voice to girls and boys and women by setting up a radio station in 13 villages around the Bukavu area. A three-week course on ethics, code of conduct and training methods will be conducted, and a separate six-day training course will also be organized, focusing on broadcasting skills, targeting specifically women and young girls victims of abuse.Hide
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 View More
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.
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, UNESCO organized a round table on domestic and intimate partner violence, gendered perspective on conflict, violence, refugee protection and the rights of the View More
On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, UNESCO organized a round table on domestic and intimate partner violence, gendered perspective on conflict, violence, refugee protection and the rights of the child.Hide
UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFA GMR) co-organized a rally to end school-related gender-based violence, together with the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), UNICEF and the UN Global Education View More
UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFA GMR) co-organized a rally to end school-related gender-based violence, together with the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), UNICEF and the UN Global Education First Initiative(GEFI).Hide
UNESCO is working on a campaign to fight human trafficking in Africa. UNESCO’s flagship initiative of community multimedia centers (CMC) provides access to information and communication resources in the areas of women’s rights and development, for poor and marginalized women. UNESCO has over 130 CMCs in more than 25 countries.Hide
UNESCO is organizing awareness-raising activities on the elimination of all forms of violence against women, such as international conferences on the occasion of International Women’s Day (“Gender Equality – Make it your Business” in 2008) and other conferences on relevant topics.Hide
On 3 October 2016, UNESCO organized a Round Table on “Education and Gender Equality: The Perfect Partners for Development - Reflections on child, early and forced marriage – effects on school drop-outs.” During the event, the View More
On 3 October 2016, UNESCO organized a Round Table on “Education and Gender Equality: The Perfect Partners for Development - Reflections on child, early and forced marriage – effects on school drop-outs.” During the event, the 2016 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report Gender Review was also launched. The Round Table was part of UNESCO’s celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child and aimed at reflecting on the fundamental link between gender equality and education, with a specific focus on the impact of child, early and forced marriage on education prospects for girls.Hide
In October 2016, UNESCO participated in the first US symposium on “Technology and Women: Protection and Peril” organized at the Evelyn Jacobs Ortner Center on Family Violence, University of Pennsylvania. The Symposium discussed inter View More
In October 2016, UNESCO participated in the first US symposium on “Technology and Women: Protection and Peril” organized at the Evelyn Jacobs Ortner Center on Family Violence, University of Pennsylvania. The Symposium discussed inter alia the connectivity across offender's behavior, effects on victims, criminal justice intervention and ethical issues related to technology and violence against women. UNESCO's contribution was entitled “Through the Magnifying Glass: Technology and Violence Against Women” and it addressed the issue how Internet, mobile phones and social media can magnify gender inequalities in many different ways and how we can take action to magnify the potential of technology to empower women.Hide
UN Women collaborated with UNESCO to develop a guidance toolkit on prevention of and response to violence against women and girls in the educational sector: “Global Guidance on School-related Gender-based violence” in December 2016 ( View More
UN Women collaborated with UNESCO to develop a guidance toolkit on prevention of and response to violence against women and girls in the educational sector: “Global Guidance on School-related Gender-based violence” in December 2016 (http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002466/246651E.pdf). UN Women continues its collaboration with UNESCO to develop similar toolkits to engage the media and sporting organizations in prevention of and response to VAW. These technical documents provide key information to governments, policy-makers, practitioners and civil society who wish to take concrete action against violence against women and girls. It introduces approaches, methodologies, tools and resources that have shown positive results.Hide