Equality of women and men, as stated in the Istanbul Convention, is a fundamental human right, an essential element of democracy and an imperative of social justice. However, in present-day society, inequalities between women and men persist in the political, economic, social, cultural and educational fields.
The team of Europe on Track 9 wants to put a particular emphasis on the latter and with the present Manifesto, it has worked on some key principles and recommendations directed to educational institutions on how to maximise the impact that an education based on gender equality can have on young people.
The first cause of violence against women, which takes many forms, lies in the discrimination that women suffer due to the dominant patriarchal culture. Therefore, there is a need to re-evaluate training and didactic paths by promoting the overcoming of gender stereotypes through education. School is the ideal context in which to intervene to prevent the spread and take the root of sexism and misogynism and provide an alternative model of (gender) education.
Educational institutions should offer guidance on the implementation of Article 14 of the Istanbul Convention and train education professionals on how to encourage younger generations to advocate for gender equality and to help them in creating safer spaces in educational and professional environments and promoting non-stereotyped gender roles at all levels of education.
From our research, it was clear that young people surveyed shared a lack of knowledge on how to react to this kind of harassment. Many don’t know what actions they could take if confronted with harassment or violence, how to help or support victims and survivors of this, or what organisations are available to help them.
From what we gathered, the most recurring issue is lack of education and awareness on gender-based discrimination, harassment and violence on how we can tackle the issue of gender inequality has been through increased awareness and education. These suggested forms of education have been
- adapting educational environments to be inclusive, understanding and equal,
- creating and maintaining safe spaces and being active bystanders in cases of gender-based harassment, violence, etc.,
Increased awareness of the topic of gender equality is a crucial element in challenging normalised inequality and discrimination throughout society. From interactions with young people throughout Europe, the general consensus has been that there is a lack of public awareness of the types of inequalities faced by people due to their gender.