This year’s campaign turns its focus toward ending gender-based violence in education by continuing the momentum and achievements built up over a year that saw more than 700 organisations in 92 countries voice their support.
Not only does November 25th mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, it’s also the first day of the annual international 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which has been running since 1991. The 16 days concludes on December 10th, International Human Rights Day, to stress that violence against women is a human rights issue.
This year, under the theme of ‘Together We Can End GBV in Education!,’ there is strong activist focus on the available human rights tools and framework in global advocacy for more effective laws, policies and institutions that effectively prevent and address violence in and around educational settings. This reflects a renewed emphasis by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) – coordinators of the 16 Days Campaign - on using the human rights framework not only to raise awareness about gender-based violence, but more crucially to push for its eradication.
Education Unions Take Action
Launched in 2016 the joint programme by Education International (EI) and the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), ‘Education Unions Take Action to end School-related Gender-based Violence (SRGBV)’, involves seven EI member organisations in five countries in east and southern Africa, and aims to enhance the unions’ and union members’ capacity to contribute to ending school-related gender-based violence.
With support from the Government of Canada, the programme provides a unique opportunity for the unions to test, replicate and disseminate innovative approaches to union action to address violence in and around schools in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Zambia. The programme has so far provided insight into key challenges, and uncovered valuable examples of effective union practices, and evidence of behaviour change among union members. The programme has also highlighted the powerful role that education unions can play in addressing gender-based violence, and increasing the safety and security of male and female children, youth and teachers in educational settings.
16 Days when Education Unions Speak!
‘Education Unions Speak!’ is a series of podcasts, videos and blogs covering the personal change journeys of union members from some of the unions participating in the programme. These cover issues such as securing political will and mobilizing support within the unions to make SRGBV a union priority, reaching out to communities, and creating new partnerships, all with the common aim of addressing and ending SRGBV.
Please visit the EI website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel, and follow us on Twitter during the 16 Days, to view and listen to some of the lessons learnt by participating education unionists, who are making a strong contribution towards ending violence in and around educational settings.