Leadership and joint action to eliminate school-related gender-based violence: International partners meeting report

Conference Reports
35 p.

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a global problem that knows no geographical, cultural, social, economic, ethnic, or other boundaries. It occurs across all societies, represents a violation of human rights, and is a major obstacle to the achievement of gender equality.School-related GBV (SRGBV) continues to be a serious barrier to fulfilling the right to education, especially for girls, and undermines their experience of school as a safe space for learning. Prevalence of SRGBV is one of the key factors for low quality of school education for girls and boys. Despite governments having signed onto international frameworks to protect children from all forms of violence, recent reviews and initiatives have highlighted the extent to which children, especially girls, are exposed to SRGBV. Recent research and other initiatives also highlight the role of the education sector in the prevention of SRGBV, such as effective policies and regulation, reporting and response mechanisms, well supported and trained personnel, and gender-transformative teaching and learning approaches.
Recognising that an increasing number of development partners are now focusing their efforts on the issue of SRGBV through research, advocacy, and programming, UNGEI, UNESCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France identified the need for a forum for coordination and collective planning. As a first step, an international partners meeting was convened in Paris, France in April 2014. The two-day meeting aimed to take stock of current responses and the gaps in programming, to identify opportunities for collaboration and strategic action, and to develop a commonly agreed “Roadmap” outlining strategic directions for future actions and collaboration involving all interested parties. Over 25 organisations were represented, each working on school-related gender-based violence through different entry points including: child protection, school violence, violence against women and girls, teacher support, girls’ education, sexual and reproductive health. Organisations included UN partners, bilateral actors, civil society organisations and research institutions. The breadth of experience and approaches gave rise to rich discussions and sharing of tools, lessons and experience.

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