UNESCO organized three workshops to present the results of studies on the response of education systems to school-related gender based violence (SRGBV) in Cameroon, Togo and Senegal
SRGBV is a phenomenon that affects millions of children, families and communities in West and Central Africa, as in all countries of the world. It refers to acts or threats of sexual, physical or psychological violence perpetrated in schools and their environment, resulting from gender norms and stereotypes and imposed by unequal power relations.
The effects of SRGVB on youth, including children, are considerable. Beyond the suffering and health consequences, violence has negative repercussions on school performance and long-term educational outcomes. The workshop participants in Senegal pointed out that “SRGBV constitute an obstacle to education and reduce the return on national investment in education. The education sector has a role to play in responding to school-related gender-based violence. It is up to the sector to fulfil this role and take action accordingly.”
Response to SRGBV involves actions at different levels, including curricula, teacher training, sectoral policies and regulatory provisions. In order to evaluate the responses, UNESCO has developed an analysis and imaging tool that has been used by the Institute for Demographic Training and Research (IFORD). The sharing of results across the three countries has provided valuable information to complement the diagnoses. In particular, IFORD now has a more comprehensive list of national documents on the four components, and can identify good practices to be shared among the three countries. Building on these elements, workshop participants were able to decide together on next steps to strengthen education responses to SRGBV. In particular, UNESCO will support ministries in the development of harmonized teacher training modules, and propose concrete solutions to strengthen sectoral policies, regulation, and classroom teacher practice.
The three workshops, organized with the support of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs of France (MEAE), in collaboration with UNESCO's Multisectoral Regional Offices for West Africa (Sahel) and Central Africa (ECCAS), the ministries in charge of education of each country and the Cameroonian and Togolese National Commissions for UNESCO, took place on 23-24 August (Togo), 29-30 August (Cameroon) et 5-6 September (Senegal).
Source : unesco.org