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 occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - 25 November 2016, UNESCO set up an Orange Zone at Headquarters and conducted a rich social media campaign on the effects of climate change in exacerbating View More
On occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - 25 November 2016, UNESCO set up an Orange Zone at Headquarters and conducted a rich social media campaign on the effects of climate change in exacerbating violence against women and girls - a key theme for this year’s campaign on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Throughout the day, badges, informative postcards, posters and UNESCO publications were made available to all staff and visitors. Four visually striking factographs were released, highlighting the links between climate change and violence against women. The campaign disseminated via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram reached over 758,000 people around the world. Broadcasting live from the Orange Zone via Facebook Live, the Director of the Division of Gender Equality discussed the significance of this Day as the UNESCO Globe was lit in orange. The Director also highlighted the importance of raising awareness on violence against women in the context of climate change, noting the myriad of ways in which climate change disproportionately affects women, whether via natural disasters or climate-induced displacement causing heightened sexual trafficking, or the search for water and firewood resulting in increased rapes. Over 1,300 people have watched the video.Hide
UNESCO developed a university course on gender equality and the prevention of gender-based violence, in collaboration with six universities in Madagascar, and trained university staff on the topic in Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition, a training module on prevention of gender-based violence was also developed for a training of trainers in Madagascar and a first training of trainers for rural communities on the topic was organized.Hide
UNESCO supported the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) of Vietnam to implement two recent laws, the Law on Gender Equality and the Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control through supporting a training programme with the provincial Departments of Education and Training on gender mainstreaming in education, including domestic violence prevention and control: supporting the Ministry of Education and Training in developing and piloting Teachers’ Training Modules on gender issues, including domestic violence: assisting the Ministry of Information and Communication to develop a training programme on gender issues and a Handbook on Gender Sensitive Reporting for journalists, including the elimination of domestic violence.Hide
UNESCO continues to build capacity within the education sector to prevent and respond to school related gender-based violence (SRGBV). Orientation and training workshops on education sector responses to SRGBV, utilizing resources such as the View More
UNESCO continues to build capacity within the education sector to prevent and respond to school related gender-based violence (SRGBV). Orientation and training workshops on education sector responses to SRGBV, utilizing resources such as the UNESCO/UN Women Global Guidance on Addressing School-Related Gender-Based Violence (English, French), were conducted with education personnel and partners in 2017 in the African region (West and Central Africa and Eastern and Southern Africa), the Caribbean and the Russian Federation. Parallel capacity building to enhance classroom learning on respectful relationships and promote violence-free learning environments, using curriculum tools, was also carried out in the Asia Pacific and Eastern and Southern Africa regions.
Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM): GSIM intends to gauge gender-sensitivity in media operations and editorial content. It is addressed to the media in general (radio, TV and press), and Broadcasting organizations and media associations or unions, and allows them to effectively assess themselves. These evaluations can be done by applying UNESCO's Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM) and serve as a baseline against which policy can subsequently be created, modified or implemented. Their application can therefore open the road to positive change. For instance, representatives from 25 French-speaking national broadcasters from Africa participated from 21 to 24 October 2016 to a training on the application of UNESCO’s Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media. Through this event, the organization sought to strengthen media pluralism and the adoption of gender-sensitive policies in African broadcasting organizations.
Empowering Local Radio with ICTs: UNESCO’s “Empowering Local Radio with ICTs” project strengthens the capacity of local radio staff to help them broadcast quality, relevant and reliable programming. An important component of these workshops is gender-sensitive training, which helps reporters identify and remove harmful biases and stereotypes from their coverage. Sensitivity is essential when covering gender-specific matters to promote healthy and equitable portrayals of men and women in the media and society. This training additionally helps radio stations take stock of and confront gender issues in their community, such as violence against women. As an example from this period, UNESCO gender-sensitivity training of reporters from Radio Ijwi ry’Umukenyezi (Women’s Voice) in Burundi contributed to the creation of a dedicated gender cell in their station. This team investigates gender-related issues, monitors the station’s broadcasts and hosts awareness programs. They specifically advocate positive behaviour among men and women to promote intolerance for violence against women – an activity that has been very well-received in the community.
UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector implemented a project in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, entitled “Training of female radio reporters to prevent violence” in association with the local NGO “Casa de la Mujer.” Two workshops were conducted with women and men on existing legislation against domestic violence, and forty 30-minute radio programmes (in various broadcasting formats) are being produced and will be broadcast by participating radio stations.Hide
In Burundi, UNIFEM, now part of UN Women, , UNDP, UNESCO and UNICEF worked together to provide training and reporting assistance for civil society organizations and police to improve statistics and data collection on cases of gender-based violence.Hide
In November 2008, UNESCO Addis Ababa organized a workshop for film-makers, development workers and media professionals during the 3rd Ethiopian International Film Festival in order to identify strategies for promoting greater awareness and positive behavioural change on HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence/discrimination and climate change through the medium of popular films. Several UNESCO Offices, including those in Montevideo, Brasilia and Almaty, included violence against women as a focus in their activities.Hide
UNESCO worked on a campaign to fight human trafficking in Africa. The seventh session of the UNESCO Forum on Gender Equality, organized in collaboration with the Permanent Delegation of the United States of America to UNESCO, was held in October 2009. The Round Table, on the theme “Beijing: 15 Years After”, explored the progress which has been made in the twelve critical areas of action of the Beijing Platform for Action.Hide
In November 2009, UNESCO’s Office in Beijing sponsored the Institute of Anthropology in the Renmin University of China to initiate an advocacy forum and campaign to mark the “End Violence against Women Day”. The project provided a platform for experts from the government and civil society organizations to discuss domestic violence and raised awareness among university students on the issue through a variety of campaigns, such as debate and drama.Hide
To support education sector responses to early and unintended pregnancy (EUP) while supporting the continuing education of adolescent mothers, UNESCO in Eastern and Southern Africa has carried out a 10-country situation analysis on EUP View More
To support education sector responses to early and unintended pregnancy (EUP) while supporting the continuing education of adolescent mothers, UNESCO in Eastern and Southern Africa has carried out a 10-country situation analysis on EUP (conducted 2017; published 2018), the findings and recommendations of which will inform follow up country level actions for policy, programmes and advocacy. UNESCO also participates in the Indicator Working Group for the thematic indicators of SDG4, which among other aspects, continues to identify and define indicators for country reporting against the SDG thematic indicator 4.a.2 – Safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments, ensuring that data is not only sex-disaggregated but also to ensure that reporting captures the gendered dimensions of violence in learning spaces.
Gender Studies Research Network in China: UNESCO launched a project to look at policies and programs through a gender lens, identifying how they impact women and men, and then proposing policy and programmatic recommendations to address the gaps and challenges. This Gender Studies Research Network which brings together policy and decision makers, researchers and academics, and NGO leaders aims to address issues of violence against women and girls in a wider perspective.