A Girl’s Right to Learn Without Fear: Working to End Gender-Based Violence at School Tanja Suvilaakso
A Girl’s Right to Learn Without Fear: Working to End Gender-Based Violence at School Because I am a Girl campaign is focused on eliminating some of the key barriers to girl’s education: child marriage and the persistence of gender-based violence in and around schools.
A Girl’s Right to Learn Without Fear: Working to End Gender-Based Violence at School Plan Canada and University of Toronto, Faculty of Law- International Human Rights Program 8 key global principles Examples of promising practices from countries internationally recognized
School related gender-based violence defined SRGBV refers to: • Sexual, physical or psychological violence • Inflicted on children in and around schools • Due to stereotypes and roles or norms attributed to or expected of them on the basis of their sex or gendered identity. SRGBV also refers to the ways in which experiences of and vulnerabilities to violence may be gendered.
Inside and outside of school • Latrines, empty classrooms and corridors are all potential spaces where violence can occur. • Millions of girls and boys are at risk of bullying, rape, unwanted touching, and unprovoked sexual advances in transit to and from school, along walking routes, at bus stops, and at taxi stands. • Isolation and lack of sufficient oversight and management can exacerbate the problem.
Conflict: Girls and boys even more at risk of GBV in and around schools • One child in three in conflict-affected countries does not go to school, compared to one in 11 in other low-income countries. • In many conflict-affected areas, school children are more likely to be subject to violent attacks. • The use of sexual violence as a weapon of war has been widespread, and many victims are young girls.
Prevalence • Worldwide, an estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys have experienced sexual violence. • In some countries, more than 80% of students suffer corporal punishment at school.
In Mozambique, for example, a government study found that 70% of girl respondents reported knowing that some teachers used sexual intercourse as a condition for promotion between grades. • In Niger, a study showed that 88% of teachers confirmed existence of sexual acts between students and teachers at their school.
Prevalence continued “Moyennes Sexuellement Transmissible - STM” (Gabon, Cameroon) “Chalk allowance” of “Bush stipend” “Le menace du bic rouge” (Mali) “Droit de cuissage” (Côte d’Ivoire)
Forms of SRGBV Sexual violence Bullying in schools Cyber-bullying Physical and psychological violence as ‘discipline’
Causes • Harmful social, cultural, and religious norms • Discrimination and social marginalisation • Missing legal safeguards and weak institutional capacity
Consequences Immediate and long-term: • Health consequences (STDs, HIV infection, unwanted early pregnancies) • Psychological suffering • Poor performance at school, absenteeism and high drop out rates • Reduced economic opportunities
Time for Solutions • Teachers have and can be engaged as critical allies • Schools can act as catalysts for non-violence, tolerance, and gender equality • Attitudes and behaviours can be transformed • Facilities can be reformed • Programmes and policies can be strengthened
Eight principles for government action 1. Comprehensive and integrated action 2. Effective legislation and regulation 3. Safe and effective reporting and response 4. Evidence-based policy 5. Well-supported, well-trained personnel 6. Partnership 7. Inclusiveness 8. Participation
Link to the report The Canadian edition of the report is available at: http://plancanada.ca/publications