“As a mother, every morning I take the biggest leap of faith when I wave to my child as they leave for school. The fear that lurks in my heart is : Will anyone touch the body of my child? Will anyone bully her in school? Will she face corporal punishment for not being able to answer ? Our roads are not even safe to send our daughters and children walking to school.” shared a concerned mother from one of the Women’s Fellowship of Member Churches of National Council of Churches during World Day of Prayer event in Delhi while reflecting on the WDP theme “Receive Children , Receive Me.”
Such fear looms large in the heart of many mothers and parents in India. Violence in educational institutions in India and school-related gender-based violence is a recurring phenomenon in India. Such violence refers to acts of sexual, physical or psychological violence in and around schools because of stereotypes and roles or norms attributed to or expected because of sex or gender identity. GBV in education is perpetuated by teachers, school administrators, other school employees, fellow students, and community members.
Women’s Concerns Ministry of National Council of Churches in India invites member churches, church managed and run organizations/institutions to promote 16 Days of Activism Campaign against Gender -Based Violence. The theme of the 16 Days Activism Campaign 2017 is “Together We Can End Gender Based Violence in Education!”
16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day. The aim of this Campaign is to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
The right to education and gender equality is central to human rights and development objectives. Nobel Prize winner renowned economist Amartya Sen rightly points out that there are two main inequalities: educational inequality and health inequality These are the indicators of a woman’s status of welfare. In India irrespective of the caste, creed, religion and social status, the overall status of a woman is lower than that of a man. Therefore a male child is preferred over a female child; a girl child is considered as a burden.