EI General Secretary calls for Action during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence
You will all recall that the 7th EI World Congress adopted a new resolution (3.1) on school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV). This resolution addresses one of the most pernicious barriers to the full enjoyment of the right to education in all regions, making it impossible for far too many schools and other educational establishments to be ‘safe sanctuaries’ for quality learning and teaching.
SRGBV commonly refers to acts or threats of sexual, physical or psychological violence occurring in or around schools and educational settings as a result of gender norms and unequal power dynamics between genders. It includes acts of bullying, sexual or verbal harassment, non-consensual touching, rape and assault. Although both girls and boys can be targets of SRGBV, girls are the most vulnerable; students, teachers and education support personnel can be both victims and perpetrators of such violence.
SRGBV is a serious threat to the achievement of the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (especially Goals 4 & 5 on education and gender equality, respectively).
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence Campaign is an annual international campaign coordinated by the Rutgers University-based Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL). The 16 Days begin on November 25th (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women & Girls) and end on December 10th (International Human Rights Day). These symbolic dates were chosen to emphasise the fact that violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights.
More than 5, 179 organisations in approximately 187 countries have participated in the 16 Days Campaign since 1991.
The theme for this year’s 16 Days campaign is: ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All’.
As the voice of educators & education support personnel worldwide, EI member organisations are key actors in tackling gender-based violence in and around schools and other educational settlings, and an important force for protection and change. We are, therefore, calling on all member organisations to get involved in this year’s 16 Days Campaign, thereby leading efforts to raise awareness about gender-based violence in and around schools and other educational settings.
An annexe to this circular contains a call to action, which member organisations can use to support their activities over the 16-day period. Member organisations are also encouraged to visit the campaign organisers’ website for tips on how to plan and organise 16-Day Campaign events, and for this year’s campaign toolkit in multiple languages: http://16dayscwgl.rutgers.edu/2015-campaign/take-action-kit.