Thematic Review: Addressing School Violence
Global evidence has shown that there is a link between children's experience and fear of violence and lower attendance and learning outcomes, as well as higher drop-out rates (UNESCO and UN Women, 2016). The Girls' Education Challenge (GEC) was set up to support improved attendance and learning outcomes for up to one million marginalised girls as well as the development of an evidence base on what works in girls' education. This paper highlights key lessons learned from the GEC related to school violence:
- Whole school approaches to addressing violence against girls appear to be the most successful.
- It is important to consider how violence impacts the most marginalised girls, including disabled girls, as they are often more vulnerable to violence.
- Projects that took a gender transformative approach and included marginalised boys in at least some of their activities have been more successful at limiting backlash against girls benefitting from project activities. This highlights the need for projects to consider gender and power structures in order to limit potential negative backlash against girls.
Overall, the literature identifies the following promising interventions in developing countries:
- Whole school approaches to safety
- Curriculum approaches that support young people
- Interventions that combine girls' clubs with community dialogue and in-service training for teachers and school management committees
- Establishing mechanisms in schools for reporting violence
- Increasing the number of women on school management committees
Findings from GEC projects that attempted to measure the impact of violence on girls' attendance and learning, confirmed the link between girls' fear and/or actual experience of violence and its impact on enrolment, attendance and learning outcomes. Findings also confirmed that addressing violence in schools can contribute to improving attendance, enrolment and learning results for girls.