Education International
Education International

Teacher unions work to prevent violence against women

published 24 November 2010 updated 24 November 2010

On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, EI pledges to accelerate its awareness programmes and union education activities to prevent violence against women.

Describing why equality should be a matter for all classrooms and trade unions, EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, explained that: “Discrimination and violence exacerbate social exclusion, so gender equality remains a critically important issue, particularly with respect to ending violence against women, pay inequity and discrimination in employment.”

EI’s Latin America Women’s Network which met in Sao Paulo recently, added: “Fighting inequality at school and in trade unions, means that we also fight for equitable expressions in social spaces, politics and culture, and eliminate gender based violence.”

EI and its women’s networks, across all regions, are working to ensure that public policy and legislation does not discriminate, and women’s rights are actively implemented into practice. Teachers and their unions are organising activities to bring about change in the stereotypical conceptions of gender roles through education.

EI Deputy General Secretary, Jan Eastman, said: “We need more investment in people, particularly women and their families: access to quality education, decent jobs, including for mothers and pregnant women, and the full participation in the political, social, cultural and economic life of their countries and their unions.”

These themes will be addressed during the first EI World Women’s Conference – On the Move for Equality – which will be held in Bangkok from 20-23 January 2011, when women and men teacher unionists from around the world will help to shape EI’s strategies for preventing violence against women. The Conference will also help to build a global action network to enhance women’s rights and empowerment. Through interactive workshops, representatives from education unions will exchange good practice on how to combat violence against women.

Visit the Conference webpage to find out more about the programme: www.ei-ie.org/women2011

Some unions have already made their activities, reports and materials available online:

- Report from GEW (Germany) on violence against women, legislation and its implementation, and activities in schools and by GEW to prevent violence and raise awareness- Booklet from F.E.CC.OO (Spain) on education and gender based violence o Education resources on equality from the Spanish Fundacion Mujeres- Report on Sri Lanka’s recognition of gender based violence and the need to address it- Report from Lärarförbundet (Sweden) on work of social partners and the Swedish Teachers’ Union against violence o Information slip on prevention projects run by AFA o Leaflet on how to handle violence and harassment- Consultation paper and good practice collection by NASUWT (UK) o Poster in support of the White Ribbon campaign- Guidance brochure from UCU (UK) to assist members suffering from domestic violence o Poster: ’Domestic violence is a workplace issue’