STEP is supporting the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. A recent UNESCO report has found that some female students experience physical, sexual and financial violence in the workshops, on the way to college and in their temporary housing in Malawi. Some male students also experience physical violence while on campus. It is the right of all students to receive quality education in a safe and inclusive environment. Abuse, intimidation, coercion, and bullying have a direct impact whether a student will be successful. It’s the responsibility of all to put an end to violence.
To prepare for the campaign, STEP has trained 30 youth to work in five different technical colleges and skills training centres to raise student and faculty awareness around gender based violence and to call for an end to all forms of violence. Participants of the two-day training were student representatives from Youth to Youth Empowerment and Technical, Entrepreneurial, Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) Institutions including the Stephanos Vocational Training Centre, Ezondweni Community Technical College, Malindi Community Skills Development Centre and Don Bosco Youth Technical Institute.
The objective of the training was to increase understanding of the link between gender inequalities and the violence witnessed in our communities today; to identify the types of violence in our communities; and to address ways to prevent violence. The interactive training sessions were led by the Gender Specialist with STEP, Jean Munro. Local police officers from the Lilongwe Victim Support Unit shared with the participants the criminal offenses related to gender based violence, ways of preventing the violence, and how victims can receive support after experiencing the violence.
After the training, Youth to Youth Empowerment will be conducting information sessions and awareness raising campaigns with the trained students in their respective colleges and surrounding communities up to December 10, 2017.
16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence was launched in 1991 to call upon all individuals to stimulate action to end violence against women and girls around the world. It runs from November 25 which is the International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. This year’s theme is #LeaveNoOneBehind – Ending Gender Based Violence. Join STEP in the Campaign to End Gender Based Violence. #LeaveNoOneBehind #EndGenderBasedViolence
STEP is an initiative funded by European Union and implemented by UNESCO to strengthen the technical training TEVET sector and its capacity to satisfy the economy’s need for professionals through improvement of equitable and gender-balanced TEVET. Ensuring not only a safe and inclusive learning environment but also confirming that all technical institutions are violence free are key for a successful training system.