Rigorous Review of Global Research Evidence on Policy and Practice on School-Related Gender-Based Violence

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Author/Publisher: UNGEI, University College London - Institute of Education, UNICEF, Global Partnership for Education, Learning for Peace 
Language: English

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Key Findings

- Major evidence gaps exist in how to provide safe, inclusive and violence-free learning environments for girls and boys. Research has been skewed towards evaluations of short-term interventions at a moment of practice, with little long-term follow-up. While there is a good evidence base on violence prevention interventions with groups of children, work that is not specifically focused on sexual violence tends to be gender-blind;

- Addressing the links between violence, identities, social and cultural norms and intersecting structural inequalities is crucial to effective interventions related to SRGBV;

- Policies and practices need to be shaped based on critical reflection of how they influence girls’ and boys’ day-to-day experiences of violence;

- The most promising approaches involve those working with groups of young people on gender, sex and violence with reflection and consciousness-raising on gender identities, social norms and inequalities that shape the risk and experience of sexual violence. Single sex groups (e.g., girls’ and boys’ clubs), sometimes combined with mixed group sessions, can provide ‘safe spaces’ for building awareness about gender equality, violence prevention and redress;

- Holistic community-based programmes that develop critical reflection and interpersonal skills, alongside socio-economic support/training can help deter peer violence, gang involvement, cyber bullying, violent crime and other negative behaviours. Psychological interventions in war zones need to be carefully tailored to local conditions, and more evidence is needed using a gender lens;

- Supporting teachers and schools is paramount. Evidence suggests that women and men teachers’ confidence in addressing SRGBV can be strengthened by supporting reflection on their own values, beliefs and personal histories; curriculum materials and training in strategies to address discrimination and violence; and training in interactive, inclusive pedagogies;

- Robust evidence is needed for interventions that focus on changing laws, developing policy or working with macro institutions; as well as interventions at district level by officials and organizations tasked with disseminating, implementing and monitoring policies;

- Critical reflection on values, norms, professional cultures and institutions has the potential to strengthen policy enactment at the level of the ‘missing middle’.



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