Gender-based violence (GBV)
Evidence from research, such as the UN Secretary-General’s World Report on Violence against Children (2006), reveals that the phenomenon of gender-based violence (GBV) affects all countries worldwide. Girls and women are most frequently targeted, owing to physical and/or social vulnerability. Homosexuals, lesbians as well as bi-sexual and transgender people can often be victims of GBV.
GBV, whether physical, sexual, psychological, or of any other form, is a blunt violation of human rights. School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) or fear of SRGBV can adversely affect girls’ attendance and performance in schools but also the quality of the entire education system.
UNESCO aims at preventing and eliminating SRGBV which occurs in or on the way to and from school. As teachers and learners can be both perpetrators and/or victims of GBV, awareness-raising and sensitization needs to target the entire school population.
Developing educational contents and practices that promote gender equality, respect and tolerance is necessary so that students learn how to refrain or protect themselves and others from SRGBV. Teachers also play a key role in preventing or addressing SRGBV. For that, they need to acquire relevant knowledge, skills and behaviour to prevent and address SRGBV and promote gender equality in the classroom.
Some gender-sensitive reference materials to help teachers address SRGBV:
- Stopping Violence in Schools: A Guide for Teachers proposing ten action areas for addressing and preventing violence, one which specifically focuses on GBV.
- Promoting Gender Equality through Textbooks – a methodological guide for developing gender-sensitive educational contents.
The World Report on Violence against Children. UNESCO participated actively in the overall consultation and specifically in the drafting of the chapter on education and violence.