International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

published 25 November 2015 updated 30 November 2015

Violence against women affects all groups of women and remains prevalent all over the world; it both reflects and creates gender inequalities, and is one of the worst manifestations of gender-based discrimination.

School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) affects millions of children worldwide each year, and is a critical barrier to the right to education, not only because of its serious physical and psychological health implications, but also because it leads to the deterioration of the learning environment as a whole. SRGBV is defined as acts or threats of sexual, physical or psychological violence occurring in or around schools and educational settings. 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.

The experience or even the threat of SRGBV often results in irregular attendance, dropout, truancy, poor school performance, and low self-esteem. SRGBV is often aggravated in conflict-affected countries and during emergencies.

Educators, schools and education systems play a fundamental role in transforming practices, attitudes and values in society, and are an important force for protection and change. As the voice of educators and education support personnel worldwide, EI member organisations are key actors in tackling violence in and around schools and other educational settlings.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence Campaign is an annual international campaign, which begins on November 25th and ends 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.

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’.

Given the focus on education, all EI member organisations are encouraged to get involved in this year’s 16 Days Campaign, thereby leading efforts to raise awareness about violence in and around schools and other educational settings.

Click here for the Resolution on SRGBV passed by the 7th EI World Congress in July 2015.

Click here for more information about getting involved in the 16 Days Campaign.