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 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
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.
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
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
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