The END GBV in VET project focuses on piloting a full service operating office for students, trainers, schools administrative staff and parents to increase the capacity and awareness for disrupting gender-based violence in the VET sphere. This is achieved by improving the development of VET school students, their teachers/staff and interested parents in addressing issues relevant to GBV, to strengthen the existing structures of the institutions by offering an integrated approach through the operation of a full service in the campus that will provide information, training, support and consultations.
Gender-based violence and Education
Gender-based violence (GBV) is the most extreme expression of unequal gender relationsin society and one of the most widespread violations of human rights. While GBV disproportionally affects women and girls, it also affects men and boys. GBV is preventable and educational institutions can play a central role in ending it.
Students in Vocational Institutes (VET) typically fall between the ages of 18 and 30 and evidence shows that young people in this age category lack adequate information on the spectrum of violence based on gender and they are unaware on the existing means to report and address the abuse behavior.
All project partner countries (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Spain, Slovakia, Romania and Austria) are well advanced in the fight against GBV in general but also in the areas of education with information and training mostly for teachers and students and in a lower degree for parents. There are in place either national plans or projects to promote the respect of gender equality, prevention of GBV and all forms of discrimination. Even though initiative exist in the education system and promoted by public institutions, little have been done for the Vocational Training providers. The topic of violence against women and GBV should be included in the training of teaching staff and students. At present, corresponding training is not compulsory, which means that participation in workshops and trainings on violence due to gender depends on the individual interest and commitment of the training provider.
Gender-based violence in EU
The Commission Communication on a Union of Equality: Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 highlights the importance of vocational education and training for women and men to ensure a gender balance and to tackle gender stereotypes. The Council Recommendation on VET for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience targeted measures promote gender balance in traditionally “male” or “female” professions and address gender related and other types of stereotypes together (COM(2020) 275 final).
Within this whole school approach, collaboration between VET schools and society plays a central role. Moreover, collaboration with NGOs and Public Bodies experienced in the identification and tackling of GBV issues is part of the projects’ objectives. Enhanced society – VET school collaboration significantly improves outreach to vulnerable adolescents at risk of dropping out, as well as to their parents, thus contributing to a safe and supportive VET school environment.