Ending school-related gender-based violence: a series of thematic briefs

Introduction

School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) refers to acts or threats of sexual, physical, or psychological violence occurring in and around schools, perpetrated as a result of gender norms and stereotypes and enforced by unequal power dynamics (see figure 1).

Violence in schools is widespread, and discriminatory gender norms are one of the key driving factors. This means that it is essential to apply a gender lens when developing violence prevention and response approaches. As with all forms of violence, school-related gender-based violence violates children’s rights and is a significant barrier for girls’ and boys’ access to and participation in education.

There has been increasing recognition of SRGBV as a pressing issue requiring global attention if the Sustainable Goals 4, (Education), 5 (Gender equality) and 16.2 (Violence against children) are to be met. Much work remains to be done requiring accelerated and multi-dimensional prevention and response efforts.

This series of thematic briefs is targeted at policy makers and practitioners. It aims to summarize the latest learning and evidence synthesized from two regional workshops on how best to prevent and address SRGBV held in West and Central Africa and East and Southern Africa. The challenges and recommendations are relevant to any form of school violence, whether driven by gender or not, and as such form a valuable resource for all policy makers and practitioners working in this field.

The briefs in this series include

  1. Applying a whole school approach to preventing school-related gender-based violence;

  2. Engaging teachers to create safe and gender-responsive learning environments;

  3. Shifting harmful gender norms through curricular approaches;

  4. Establishing safe and confidential reporting mechanisms;

  5. Investing in data and evidence to inform the response to SRGBV; and 6. Integrating SRGBV into national policies and education sector plans.