Safe schools: Every girl's right.
Subject: School violence (Prevention)
School violence (Demographic aspects)
Sex crimes (Demographic aspects)
Sexual harassment (Demographic aspects)
Intimidation (Demographic aspects)
Girls (Crimes against)
Pub Date: 06/01/2008
Publication: Name: Sister Namibia Publisher: Sister Namibia Audience: Academic; General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 Sister Namibia ISSN: 1026-9126
Issue: Date: June, 2008 Source Volume: 20 Source Issue: 2
Topic: NamedWork: Safe Schools: Every Girl's Right (Report) Event Code: 980 Legal issues & crime
Product: Product Code: 9918960 Sexual Harassment
Organization: Organization: Amnesty International
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Namibia Geographic Code: 6NAMI Namibia
Accession Number: 184550017
Full Text: On the eve of International Women's Day, Amnesty International called on governments and school officials around the world to take concrete action to end violence against girls, particularly inside schools.

In their report, Safe Schools: Every Girl's Right, the organisation shows how violence in and around educational institutions remains pervasive. From Mexico to China, girls continuously face the risk of being sexually assaulted, harassed or intimidated on their way to school or once inside school premises.

Some girls suffer violence more than others. Particular groups, such as ethnic minorities, lesbians or girls with disabilities are at higher risk than their peers.

A 2006 study of schoolgirls in Malawi found that 50 percent of girls said they had been touched in a sexual manner without permission by either their teachers or a fellow student. Equally, a study in the USA found that 83 percent of girls in grades 8 to 11 (aged around 12 to 16) in public schools experienced some form of sexual harassment.

People interviewed by Amnesty International in Haiti agreed that violence was widespread in schools but was rarely reported. Corporal punishment, the use of whips, beatings with electric cables, forcing children to kneel in the sun, food deprivation, sexual abuse, insults and psychological abuse of girls was common by teachers and administrative staff. Schools in conflict zones represent a particular threat to the lives of girls attending them.

Attacks against girls in schools have both immediate and long-term impacts. Not only do girls suffer from the impact of violence on their physical and mental health, but in the context of education, the violence may cause girls to drop out and lose any hope of escaping poverty and political marginalisation.

"While supporting efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, Amnesty International believes that achieving gender equality in education requires increased commitment and an immediate effort to stop violence against schoolgirls. It's difficult to learn when every school day is a struggle against violence," said Widney Brown, Senior Director at Amnesty International.

Amnesty International has drawn up a six-point plan aimed at government officials and bodies, including school officials, with recommendations on how to end violence against girls in schools.

Source: Safe Schools: Every Girl's Right (report, 7 March 2008)
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.