Countries share their experience
Ministries of Education from Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda and Zambia shared their programs and lessons, and called for donors to coordinate their support to governments on this issue.
In South Sudan the girl’s education policy includes a focus on school-related gender-based violence. Ester Akumu Ahire, the Gender Advisor from South Sudan’s ministry of education also shared the need for more data and research on this issue.
In Kenya the government is leading cross-sectoral work to address sexual and gender-based violence. They have standard operating procedures in place for reporting and responding to incidents in schools, and are keen to do more to actively engage schools into the work on preventing violence.
Zambia shared their work to integrate SRGBV into their education sector plan, including budget and an action plan on this critical issue as well as insights from their work piloting Connect with Respect: a toolkit for educators. This transformative curriculum aims to change the norms and relationships between girls and boys to prevent school-related gender-based violence.
In Ethiopia, the Ministry of Education worked with UNICEF, within the education sector plan, to develop a code of conduct on violence for teachers and students, which outlined the behavior expected and the sanctions for perpetrators.
In Uganda, Raising voices and RTI are working with the Ministry of Education on key interventions around socio-emotional learning and addressing violence. Uganda is also a pathfinder country for the Safe to Learn campaign, and have launched their Violence Against Children survey this year.
Other partners, including Education International, national teachers’ unions, UNICEF, Raising Voices, Plan International, RTI International, FAWE and World Education shared their experiences on tackling SRGBV through a range of interventions. Promising progress is being made to change social norms, prevent violence, and improve reporting and response mechanisms by these actors, in partnership with governments, schools and teachers.
Addressing SRGBV will take efforts by all
Overall it was clear that to be effective, the efforts to curb and eliminate SRGBV must take a whole school approach, and needs political leadership across sectors, not just from ministries of education, as well as support and coordination by donors and civil society.
GPE will continue its work on this issue through its participation in the Global SRGBV Working Group and as a partner of the Safe to Learn campaign which is working to end violence in schools. We will highlight the importance of ending school-related gender-based violence through our work with the G7 gender equality advisory council, at the Women Deliver global conference, and at other key moments this year.
In addition, our forthcoming Knowledge and Innovation Exchange mechanism will fund cross sectoral work to strengthen gender equality results and tackle multi-faceted gender-related issues such as SRGBV.