Past projects

All our projects are carefully monitored and evaluated and we are eager for others to take what they can from our experiences. We produce reports and publications that show what we have learnt, and share them with others. And we work to ensure a robust legacy – including shared learning – of our completed projects.

 

UK Education Project

Womankind led an innovative UK focussed programme of work between 2003-2011. This focussed on developing models of good practice for carrying out prevention work in schools on violence against women and girls – including sexual bullying.

This work aimed to develop practice to end the domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking which nearly half of all adult women in England and Wales have experienced. (British Crime Survey 2004)

This included Challenging Violence, Changing Lives – Womankind’s programme for secondary school students and teachers in the UK. This aimed to:

  • prevent violence against women through secondary school education.
  • raise awareness
  • transform attitudes to stop violence against women
  • work on better understandings of the role played by gender stereotypes.

Womankind produced three key resources as part of this programme, still available by emailing info@womankind.org.uk

  • Lesson plans – A free CD Rom with PSHE and citizenship lessons for key stage 3 & 4. This gives step by step guidance to teaching about gender stereotypes, sexual bullying and healthy non-violent relationships. This CD-Rom has tools and activities to support schools in challenging gender stereotypes and stopping violence against women.

Year 7 looks at Gender and Identity, Year 8 looks at Gender and Culture, Year 9 looks at building respectful relationships. The 14-19 lessons build on knowledge learned — and address violence against women and campaigning for change. There is also a whole-school section on stopping sexual bullying.

  • Stop Sexual Bullying – A free DVD that shows students taking part in a sexual bullying campaign in an East London school. Information and a Code of Practice to Stop Sexual Bullying is available.
  • www.respect4us.org.uk – This was an interactive website for young people to explore issues of violence that surround them.

Back to top

UK Education Research

As part of the UK Education Project we also carried out two research studies because we wanted to know what can be done, how and who should do it in schools to stop violence against women and girls. We have been working with researchers and schools since 2003 to build a body of evidence.

  1. The first was carried out by the Thomas Coram Institute and five pathfinder schools explored the process of developing and implementing a programme of activities to stop violence against women.
  2. The second, carried out by the Institute of Education and pathfinder schools, explored the whole school approach to ending violence against women and girls. Each school developed different ideas to work to challenge gender stereotypes, end sexual bullying and prevent violence against women and girls. The learning from this Comic Relief funded programme has been captured in a major report: Freedom to achieve – preventing violence, promoting equality Nov 2010 (PDF)

Back to top

Schools failing young women on fairness and freedom

Young women are paying the price for gender inequality with 1 in 3 experiencing sexual bullying in their school on a daily basis.

‘1 in 3 young women experiences sexual bullying in school — every day’

This is just one of the findings of a major new report from Womankind Worldwide and the Institute of Education. In schools across the UK, we found that young people are growing up in a culture where equality is still far out of reach.

Young women are being groped in class, harassed by text, and forced to drop out of school and get married. Young men feel pressurised to adopt macho stereotypes — and are victimised when they don’t conform.

‘I have started wearing shorts underneath my skirt as boys lift up skirts as they walk by… sometimes they come up behind you and put their hands on your chest’ (Young woman, Year 9)

‘You have to show how masculine you are; you can’t show sensitivity — it is difficult to be different, you need to look and act a certain way’ (Young man, Year 11)

Preventing Violence, Promoting equality calls for schools to support students experiencing violence against women and girls; staff should always challenge incidents — and change the culture through a ‘whole-school’ approach. The schools piloting this approach have seen improvements in behaviour — and attainment — as young people are given the freedom they need to achieve.

Womankind welcomes the government’s commitment to a strategic approach to stopping violence against women and girls — and calls for the implementation of a clear and effective action plan on prevention.

We call on the Department for Education to:

  • co-ordinate, deliver and monitor a cross-department action plan;
  • ensure that the prevention of violence against women and girls is part of the national curriculum; and
  • communicate a clear message that schools have a vital role to play — including training, and providing information to, all teachers.

Schools should follow this lead and develop and implement their own clear strategies and action plans to stop violence against women and girls through a whole-school approach.

Back to top

The future of the UK Education work

Womankind has now taken a strategic decision to end the UK Education programme and exit our other work within Europe in order to focus our energy and resources on the needs of women in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Fortunately, several UK based women’s organisations are already providing excellent work and support in this specialist area, so the work will continue:

Back to top