Training school focal points to debunk stereotypes

A recent study, commissioned by the European Parliament and requested by the FEMM committee, titled “Backlash in Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Rights”, explores the situation in 6 EU member states (Austria, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) and provides an overview in different sectors, including education. As for the Italian context, the publication highlights that gender stereotypes and prejudices persist and that there is a need for training of school personnel.

Indeed, the present project foresees activities with children and training of school focal points, together with meetings with families and communities, local authorities and support services, in order to build an enabling environment for preventing and tackling gender-based violence, discrimination and stereotypes. The training of school personnel will allow them to detect different forms of violence, for instance cyberbullying and teen dating violence, assess the risk and react promptly. School staff will also benefit from a module on risk assessment, that will serve as a practical tool to guide them when dealing with cases of violence, providing basic information, checklists and contacts of specialized services that can help them support the children in need.

On the other hand, activities with primary and secondary school children will focus on debunking stereotypes and building a human rights-based environment, creating a positive and respectful group where children are free to explore their emotions and choose what they wish to study later on and possibly do for a living.