Gender violence; a PHSE subject?

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Demystify the place of gender-based violence and inequality education in our school curriculum

The world of education has been rocked by the experiences of our young people across the country, as Everyone Invited earlier this spring revealed.

In response, the government asked Ofsted to undertake an immediate review of protection policies in public and independent schools and colleges with regard to sexual abuse.

For an innovative educator, Natasha Eeles, founder of Bold Voices, these testimonies were well known.

Having identified the gaps in the RSHE guidelines several years ago, Natasha has spoken with a bold voice ever since.

Ofsted has now announced that it will work with representatives from social services, police, victim support groups, schools, colleges and the Council of Independent Schools to shed light on what is happening with the national safeguard. The review will seek to determine where the safeguard arrangements and processes are good, but more importantly, where improvements need to be made.

Bold voices, has worked hard to highlight the gap in educational provision around the complex and moving subject of violence and gender inequalities in recent years.

Natasha started her nonprofit social enterprise in 2018 at the age of just 24, with a college education rooted in the belief that all young people deserve an education free from violence and gender inequality, Bold Voices runs conferences and workshops across the country for young people, teachers and parents.

After a dramatic shift in national recognition of the overwhelming prevalence of this problem, what can we learn from the reaction of our schools over the past few months and, most importantly, going forward, is there a solution?

“The good news is that there are – but there is no silver bullet or manual that can change the underlying societal attitudes that have become so systematically entrenched in our culture.” explains Eeles.

“The solution lies in a dramatic widening of awareness of this area throughout the curriculum, both inside and outside the classroom. Recognizing that gender inequalities exist in all spheres exacerbates this topic far beyond its perceived place in the PHSE agenda.

“We must equip new generations with the understanding and the capacity to recognize the presence of these inequalities in all areas of life, not just in their personal relationships. By raising awareness, it’s easier to see how the seemingly small and unimportant actions that are the building blocks of gender-based violence begin to contribute to this larger culture of systemic damage. “

Model the change

In the wake of the publication of the new CSR program and the urgent review requested by the Government, what can field educators retain and realistically integrate them into daily learning?

Eeles urges educators in all fields to consider the way their content is presented:

“In the humanities, for example, is there an ‘unspoken’ story in the example you present? For centuries, history has been recorded and presented through the male lens – the balance in the classroom leads to rich conversation and a feeling that young people learn through their own reflection and facilitated conversation.

“In science, take the opportunity to vary the presentation of different types of statistics and, in very simple terms, educate yourself on the use of language and equal use of gender terminology.”

Eeles recognizes that many teachers will already incorporate this approach into their teaching methodology, but the key message here is consistency and a genuine commitment from an entire community to commit to these changes.

If young people see these changes modeled and actions and words are constantly questioned, the ripple effect of positive transformation can occur.

Taking up our role to end gender inequalities

Another notable change in recent months is the willingness of educators to seek education for themselves and a genuine acceptance that violence and gender inequality is not an issue that can be dismissed as the responsibility of ” someone else “.

Eeles continues, “At Bold Voices, as part of our teacher training sessions and parent webinars, we urge individuals to model the challenge and accept a sense of responsibility for the experiences of young people.

“Whether we like it or not, the world our young people grow up in and the technology it produces has been passed on to them by us, and whatever role we each have played, it is imperative that young people see us. Appropriate This in turn builds confidence and leads to a collaborative learning outcome that can ultimately lead to long-term change.

Theory in practice

If this all sounds theoretical, Bold voices have used their knowledge and research. Schools across the country are invited to join their Ambassador program, bringing together students, teachers and parents to participate in a series of online sessions throughout the year, designed to foster change, not just within their own. school, but through the community at large.

“It’s a conversation, as uncomfortable as it is, that every generation must have” adds Eeles.

“It may seem like an overwhelming subject that demands a revolutionary solution, but in reality we have the tools to change. “


#FlipTheSexistScript calls for unlearning gender stereotypes and eliminating social imbalances of power

July 19, 2021: Women’s Aid and the University of Bristol launch research into gender experiences of justice and domestic violence.

New research from Women’s Aid and the University of Bristol published in a report on July 19 updates the evidence base on the gendered nature of domestic violence. Gendered experiences of justice and domestic violence shows that gender stereotypes play an important role in women’s experiences of domestic violence and set the stage for the coercive and controlling behaviors of violent male partners.

The research involved analysis of 37 in-depth interviews with female survivors of domestic violence, identifying three key themes:

  1. domestic / relational roles,
  2. sexuality and relationships between intimate partners and
  3. mental health and domestic violence.

He identified the damage caused by gender stereotypes and social norms that sexually objectify women, create a hierarchical division of roles in the home, and label women as “crazy” or overly emotional.

These stereotypes create barriers for surviving women to be believed and supported to leave abusive men.

The findings further underscore the importance of responding to domestic violence as a form of violence against women and girls (VAWG), and of sufficiently funding safe and empowering female-led spaces for women.

Aid to Women is being implemented a national campaign calling on the government to demand that local authorities fund specific domestic violence services for women and ensure that the legal obligation of £ 125million in the Domestic Violence Act reaches local women’s domestic violence services.

Along with the publication of the report, Women’s Aid is launching a social media campaign today #FlipTheSexistScript, calling for unlearning gender stereotypes and eliminating social imbalances of power.

Farah Nazeer, Executive Director of Women’s Aid, said:

“Our new research with the University of Bristol shows how gender stereotypes place men in charge, cause power imbalances in the home and set the stage for domestic violence.

“The surviving women described how their male partners felt that as men they should be the ones who should make the decisions about the household. These decisions formed the basis for abusive and controlling behavior – leaving women with no say in how the household is run. and with the expectation that women will be sexually available and obedient. This is not what healthy, loving homes look like. Women’s bodies and lives do not belong to men.

“We must build a world where harmful gender stereotypes and domestic violence are no longer tolerated. To do this, we must unlearn sexist gender stereotypes and eliminate the power imbalances that are so ingrained in our society.

“If the findings of today’s report have helped you spot the signs of an abusive relationship, please seek help. Women’s Aid is here for you.”

Professor Marianne Hester, Chair of Gender, Violence and International Politics at the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol, said:

“This work is really important. It provides new and detailed evidence on how domestic violence is perpetrated and justified by men in their relationships with women. Research shows the importance of tackling gender stereotypes, as they underlie and normalize domestic violence against women.

This research was made possible by a Knowledge exchange scholarship, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration Award – ESRC IAA, between the University of Bristol and Women’s Aid. It was the first time that a fellow, in this case a Woman’s Aid researcher, had been recruited and temporarily based at the University of Bristol by a national charity.


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