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Safe Blog

Safe: Preventing gender-based violence in and through schools

16th June 2021

On June 17, Together for Girls and partners hosted a Solutions Summit side event, Safe: Preventing gender-based violence in and through schools.

Prior to the event, Together for Girls released a policy brief exploring the gendered dynamics of corporal punishment in schools. The brief highlights findings from our secondary analyses of the Violence Against Children and Youth Surveys (VACS) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and AidData, supported by USAID and Global Affairs Canada, exploring the intersection between gender, experiences of and attitudes toward corporal punishment and its consequences.

It provides a series of recommendations for further research and considerations for policy and program development to prevent corporal punishment in schools. But there is an opportunity to build back better to ensure that all children have access to quality education and safer, more equitable learning environments, and that we use schools to interrupt long-standing cycles of violence.

Policy brief : gender & corporal punishment

The event’s first panel focused on using data to drive evidence-based solutions to prevent violence in and around school settings. The second panel centered on bringing solutions to scale, sharing learnings from across sectors. The event featured keynote speakers Leslie MacLean, Deputy Minister of International Development, Global Affairs Canada and Alice Albright, CEO, The Global Partnership for Education.

Panel 1: Using data to drive solutions

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“What’s so remarkable is that the Violence Against Children Surveys are the first time that a country understands the prevalence of violence, how pervasive it can be around certain populations, and what has to be done in order to accelerate progress in violence prevention.”

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Raising Voices

“The education sector needs to own the problem of violence against children at school …We must address the experience of children in school because the outcomes have implications in every sphere of a child’s life and ultimately everyone’s life, as schools shape what types of citizens are introduced into our communities.”

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Safe to Learn

“If we want to improve learning, we need to pair it with safe learning environments. They go together … It’s very important to have data to highlight what has been invisible for too long in the education sector.”

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Chalk Back

“Gender-based violence is so normalized. Oftentimes, girls who report their stories to us might not recognize that they’re facing gender-based violence. If you give them a statistic, they might not recognize that they’re part of that statistic.. Whereas with ChalkBack, if we tell them someone’s story, then they’re able to open up and see their own experience in that story and build a sense of community and solidarity.”

Panel 2: Bringing solutions to scale

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“We’re working to get girls into what essentially is male-dominated systems … policymakers, principals, school directors, the inspectors all tend to be male… We must encourage more women and folks of gender and sexual minorities into positions of leadership within the education system. That will cause policies to change more rapidly and we’ll see schools addressing gender-based violence in the classroom.”

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“Our comprehensive scholarship program supports girls to get into school. Many drop out due to early pregnancy and forced marriage or other harmful cultural norms. Our model builds the capacity of the girls and boys, enabling them to for their own rights. It builds their self-esteem, their leadership, and gives them skills to positively think about themselves.”

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“We can do more to work on gender-based violence and violence against children within schools and around schools. , Not just looking at the conceptual level, but also using the space of schools, the pedagogy, mandatory in-service training, and teacher orientations, which every government for, to really raise questions on harmful gender stereotypes that lead to violence.”

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Las Ninas

“SRGBV must be treated as a human rights abuse and it must end. We invite all key stakeholders to partner with feminist youth networks to be co-creators and co-leaders in ending SRGBV. Continue working in this intergenerational way because this motivates youth leaders and I hope that we can motivate you.”