SAFER Project: Challenging and transforming existing gender stereotypes in schools

5 Apr 2018
ICEPE Europe
Category:Wellbeing and Resilience
SAFER Project: Challenging and transforming existing gender stereotypes in schools
Gender-based violence (GBV) is one of the most pervasive human rights violations of our time and a form of discrimination that can result in physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering. In the EU, estimates suggest that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence or both (EC, 2016). GBV is still common throughout Europe, and it is important to implement more actions that can change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to GBV.


Education plays a vital role in the prevention of GBV, and provides a forum for talking about gender equality, healthy relationships, and values such as respect. It is initially at school, when we are young, that we become aware of socially constructed gender stereotypes and can start challenging those. The SAFER project aims to raise awareness of GBV among primary school teachers, students, parents and relevant stakeholders. The project will create classroom materials that will help teachers to discuss GBV with pupils in their classroom, challenge existing gender stereotypes and ultimately preventing GBV.


On 1-2 March 2018, ICEP Europe took part in the SAFER Kick-off meeting in Nicosia, Cyprus, hosted by the coordinator Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (SPAVO). During the meeting we discussed all activities that will implement during the upcoming 2 years of the project: We are starting with the development of the comparative research on the gender-based violence attitudes, experience and reactions of teachers and children in all partner countries. The research will be carried out through a desk-based-research approach and an empirical approach via focus groups and interviews with teachers, students, parents and policy makers.


Based on our initial research findings, in order to respond to the identified needs, we will develop educational resources and training materials for teachers on socially-constructed gender roles. We will train 100 primary school teachers in each partner country on identifying and preventing GBV in order to change their students’ existing attitudes and their own. Finally, we will implement awareness-raising activities and, through various events, festivals, creation and promotion of animation movie for children on gender equality and even a mobile game application for children, we will inform the public about what they can do in order to prevent and combat GBV.


Each partner is bringing extensive knowledge and know-how in research, needs analysis, development of educational materials, positive psychology, prevention of GBV, if to mention just few areas of expertise.


The project partnership consists of 8 organisations: 

  • Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family – SPAVO (Cyprus);
  • Vilnius University(Lithuania);
  • Profexcel.Net Ltd (Ireland);
  • Neophytos Ch. Charalambous (Institute of Development) Ltd (Cyprus);
  • Hellenic Association of Positive Psychology (Greece);
  • YouAct (United Kingdom);
  • CESIE (Italy).

SAFER - Systematic Approaches for Equality of Gender is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Commission.


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