Passing the Test: The Real Cost of Being a Student
Gender Based Violence (GBV) in and around schools is now widely recognized as a serious global phenomenon that is a fundamental violation of human rights and a major barrier to the realization of all children's rights to education. Violence can be perpetrated by students or teachers in or around the school, or by out of school youths and adults who approach students on their way to and from school or demand sex in exchange for money or gifts. Acts of Gender Based Violence are disproportionately directed at girls, but boys and teachers can also be targets. Research carried out in 2012 highlights how School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV) is also a significant problem in Liberia for both school boys and girls.
Liberia has a progressive policy framework that aims to eliminate the marginalization of women and girls in Liberia by 2020 (The National Gender Policy 2009), as well as provide free and compulsory primary school for all children and support girls' access and retention in schools (National policy for Girls Education 2013). A Code of Conduct for Liberian Teachers and School Administrators has also been written and a curriculum is starting to be developed around Gender Based Violence. These policies are a good start and the challenge is now to ensure that they are effectively implemented.