16 Days of Activism: How Teachers Can Help End Gender-based Violence

December 19, 2021

Participants at the session on tackling gender-based violence held in Ramadi. Photo: UNDP Iraq

As a part of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, UNDP held an awareness-raising session along with the Directorate General of Education in Ramadi. The one-day session was attended by 26 teachers and principals from across Anbar.

The sessions focused on 1) sharing experiences, emotions, and conceptions in encountering gender-based violence, 2) awareness on forms of gender-based violence, and 3) challenges and possibilities for violence prevention and intervention by teachers and educational institutions.

It was a part of larger capacity-building efforts by UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization to key government institutions across the five ISIL liberated governorates in Iraq. We spoke to the participants at the training. This is what they had to say.

Sanaa Jihad Abd

Teacher at Chakaik Primary school for Girls in Ramadi

“It was the first time that I attended a training on tackling gender-based violence. The sessions were aimed at everyone equally. It is important to include men in the discussions as they play a crucial part in ending gender-based violence. Perceptions and mindset need to be changed so that women and girls can reach their goals and enjoy their rights.”

Faraz Ghazi Ali

Associate Principal at Yaktin school in Ramadi and Director of Adult Literacy Department for Men and Women

“This training brings a critical issue that we must work on as teachers since we are responsible for children. The school is considered a safe space. We must play a key role in molding their personalities and viewpoints. We should include parents in these discussions too.”

Naouel Ezzedine Salman

Headmistress of Jeel Primary School for Girls in Al Qaim

“We learned to identify forms of violence such as domestic and emotional violence. Going back to school, I will try to implement these learnings into how we run the school and tutor our children. We will aim to change perceptions and educate how women and girls are treated equally.”