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Gender-sensitive response to HIV and AIDS


Gender-transformative responses to HIV

Gender inequality is a significant driver of the HIV epidemic in all regions; activities to promote equality and to address harmful gender norms are part of any comprehensive response to HIV. UNESCO supports and promotes a gender-transformative response to HIV through education by: reviewing and strengthening curriculum content, promoting a safe school environment and supporting efforts to ensure access to education for all children.

In 2012, UNESCO published Good Policy and Practice in HIV and Health Education Booklet 7 –  Gender Equality, HIV and Education which reviews the connections between these three areas and provides case studies and research to encourage more gender transformative responses to HIV from the education sector.

Gender-transformative curricula

Analysis of gender norms and reflection on gender inequality are important parts of any curriculum addressing HIV, including sexuality education curricula. UNESCO integrated gender analysis into its curriculum development training and in all reviews of existing curricula to ensure that content will contribute to improving gender equality and enabling children and young people to recognize and challenge harmful gender norms.

School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV)

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a serious violation of human rights, increases vulnerability to HIV and also has a negative impact on school attendance and the ability to receive a quality education. UNESCO is working to eliminate school-related gender based violence by supporting countries to prevent the root causes of GBV through the content of education (e.g. gender equality, promoting tolerance and respect) and through promoting safe school environments.

A recent Global Review report on school-related gender based violence highlights the scale and impact of SRGBV.

A discussion brief  published in collaboration with the United Nations Girl’s Education Initiative (UNGEI) highlights the key issues in addressing SRGBV. Also available in French.

Following a successful regional consultation in Asia-Pacific in November 2013, UNESCO and East Asia and Pacific UNGEI published a report on regional perspectives on SRGBV.

UNESCO also supports education systems to be gender-responsive by seeking system-wide responses through EFA national action plans and by promoting human rights-based and culturally appropriate approaches that support women’s empowerment and more equal gender relations.

More details on UNESCO's work are available at Gender Equality and HIV & AIDS


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