NEW YORK, 25 Nov 2019 – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an annual global campaign designed to mobilise action to end gender-based violence (GBV) in all its forms. The campaign runs from 25 November to 10 December. School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is defined as ‘acts or threats of sexual, physical, or psychological violence occurring in and around schools, perpetrated as a result of gender norms and stereotypes and enforced by unequal power dynamics.’

Millions of children are affected by violence in and around schools every year. Girls are particularly vulnerable. SRGBV negatively impacts the ability of children to get to and from school, attendance rates, learning outcomes and can lead to higher rates of school drop-out. Identifying, responding to, and preventing SRGBV is therefore critical to advancing gender equality in education as well as the Sustainable Development Goal 4 target of ‘safe, inclusive and gender-sensitive learning environments.’ 

Developed by UNGEI through the Global Working Group to End SRGBV, our publication A Whole School Approach to prevent and respond to SRGBV: minimum standards and monitoring framework provides guidance for policy makers and practitioners in developing strategies to address school violence. The model is based on eight evidence-based standards drawn from approaches identified as promising practices for SRGBV prevention and response. Taken together, the following key elements represent a ‘whole school approach’ (WSA) to tackling SRGBV:

  1. Effective school leadership and community engagement to create safe, gender-sensitive learning environments
  2. Establishing and implementing a code of conduct
  3. Capacity building of teachers and educational staff support
  4. Empowering children on child rights, participation and gender equality
  5. Improving reporting, monitoring and accountability
  6. Incident response
  7. Strengthening safe and secure physical environments in and around schools
  8. Engaging parents

Over the course of this 16-day campaign UNGEI and partners will unpack each of these eight key elements through a digital advocacy campaign. Inspired by dialogue across digital channels and discussion fora, both in person and online, a global writeshop will be convened on Human Rights Day (10 Dec) leading to the creation of an open letter. Produced collaboratively, the letter will appeal to the countries of the world to take a number of key actions in order to make schools safe and gender-sensitive learning environments. Find out how you can take part here. 

The fight to end SRGBV must continue beyond these 16 Days. Therefore, marking a new phase of the campaign to #EndSRGBV, on 10 December UNGEI and partners will also release a series of six advocacy briefs featuring case studies on promising practice for tackling SRGBV. Each brief brings together the latest learning and evidence on how to prevent and respond to SRGBV, providing a framework for further advocacy, activism, and action against violence in schools.

Join us in learning how we can work together to address this global crisis, calling on global leaders to take action against School-Related Gender-Based Violence during this 16 Days of Activism and beyond. 

Follow UNGEI on Facebook and Twitter and join the conversation via #EndSRGBV 


by Oratilwe Moerane

I am 19 years of age, a mother to a 2 year old little cute man. “Being a teen mum means we met a little early but it also means that I get to love you a little longer.”
Broken dreams due to teenage pregnancy: I always saw myself in what I  call my 5 miraculous dresses
1. Matriculation dress
2 and 3. Graduation dresses
4. Wedding dress
5. Maternity dress
Sadly because back in those years I never taught myself not to take anything my peers say personal. I found myself taking a different route from the one planned watching my dreams shatter. At that very moment it had to take God to turn my life upside down so I could learn how to live right side up without searching for any validation. When I found out I was pregnant, I had to deal society confronting me with painful stigma and mistrust. At that age of 17 I had to realise that motherhood is a choice made daily, having to put someone else’s happiness and well being before yours, to teach hard lessons, to do right even when you are actually not sure what right is, having to forgive myself over and over again thinking I’m doing everything wrong. These were lessons that I should have learnt at the right age and time.
Having to drop out of school i had to hustle hard so that I can provide where I can for my son.The hunger of a productive launch is pretty addictive. Not only was I grateful to share my story to over 600 pupils including the honourable Minster Angela Motshekga, UNESCO, partners and MBTEENLIFESTLYE , I had to hear and learn the different perspectives on how teenage pregnancies affect our parents, families and communities.


Having been provided with more information to make more informed decisions, I hope that now society will learn to stop shaming our teenagers who are pregnant, those who feel they want to start using contraceptive or know their statues. Rather than confronting them, help them understand their decisions and make them fully aware of the choices they are about to take. The Let’s Talk campaign will allow teenagers to use the materials on the website not only to inform themselves but inform others of the necessity of taking care of ones health and understanding that pregnancy at the right time will ensure a healthy mother and happy baby. We must be gentle and supportive so that we don’t have girls replacing their fathers with their boyfriends, because i believe the moment we step into the teenage life we need a consistent shoulder to cry on a person who listens to understand and not just to respond.