The recognition of the widespread nature of gender based violence in school settings is becoming an area of concern, not least because of its infringement on the rights of the child but also its impact on achieving the development goals related to equal access to education for boys and girls. However, the MDG for example, focuses on quantitative targets (only described in terms of sex disaggregated data) butfails to identify and address some of the obstacles presented by the gendered school environment that girls must overcome to achieve gender equality in education. In many developing country contexts parents are reluctant to send their daughters to school lest they risk violence, exploitation or defilement on their way to school or within the environment of the school. The experience or threat of gender based violence results in poor performance, irregular attendance, dropout, truancy and low self esteem. Other factors such as early marriage,the risk of sexual harassment, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS infection, or other sexually transmitted infections, and demands for transactional sex have detrimental effects on the achievement of equality in education.
This Learning Brief is based on experience which emerged at a Gender Based Violence Learning Day: Effective Responses to GBV.