Schools are supposed to be places of learning and growth, but increasingly there are reports of School-Related Gender-Based Violence (SRGBV).
SRGBV affects millions of children, teachers and education personnel, as well as their families and communities.
Too often, teachers are viewed as part of the problem, be it for giving corporal punishment or demanding sex in exchange for grades.
However, teachers have a critical role to play in bringing about transformative action in classrooms and in the cultures of schools.
The LRS Gender Programme, in partnership with Gender at Work, has been supporting teacher trade unions in southern and East Africa to include SRGBV as a focus in union gender policies. We've supported unions to develop local "safe' schools" policies in the sub-region.
Through this project, we've been involved in the ‘Education Unions Take Action to End SRGBV’ initiative.
The ‘Education Unions Take Action to End SRGBV’ initiative supports education unions in southern and East Africa to enhance their capacity to contribute to ending SRGBV. The initiative was jointly designed by the UN Girls’ Education Initiative, Education International and Gender at Work.
We've facilitated peer learning workshops with change teams from teacher unions. Participants discuss share strategies and refine their approaches to reducing SRGBV.
Some of the unions we've worked with include South African Democratic Teachers' Union and National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa, Zambian National Trade Union of Teachers, Basic Education Teachers Union of Zambia, Kenya National Union of Teachers, Uganda National Teachers' Union and Ethiopian Teachers' Association.
From 2018, teacher unions in West Africa will be roped in this important and inspiring work.