Education unions work to prevent violence against women
Pakistani women chain themselves during a rally to condemn domestic violence against women in Pakistan (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)
EI marks November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, as a day to promote women’s rights at work and to call for the prevention of violence against all women and girls. EI calls on governments to guarantee the provision of quality free public education, with qualified teachers and gender-sensitive curricula. Such measures will ensure that girls and women have the chance to not only achieve literacy, but to also become empowered so they can lead their lives free of the fear of violence. As former UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan, stated in 1999: "Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation. And it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development, and peace."Gender-based violence at work persists on a daily basis, in different ways, and is a major challenge to the goal of equality between women and men in the world of work. It is an important issue for trade unions. As education trade unions, we can lobby and advocate for school curricula that are sensitive to the gender inequalities and inequities that characterise places of learning and communities across the world. General attitudes to gender must be transformed if violence against women and girls is to be prevented effectively. Teachers and other education personnel are well-placed to promote commitment to gender-sensitive human rights education and non-violent approaches to conflict resolution.
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Education International is the voice of the teachers and other education employees across the globe. A global federation of about 400 unions in more than 170 countries and territories, it represents 30 million teachers and education employees in education institutions from early childhood to university.