Schools for gender equality and against violence
The project aims to decrease gender based violence and abuse of children by building respect for gender differences and valuable contributions to families and communities in order to foster the equal participation of boys and young men in Bulgaria to achieve enabling gender equality at all levels since the early age and by building new values of non-violent, non-abusive and fair partnership between boys and girls in places and institutions where boys and girls live together and grow-up together. The project aims as well to change stereotypical thinking of young people using good examples and best practices and building specific skills in nurturing tolerant and fair gender relationships.
The changes in the Bulgarian society have been dynamic during the last 10 years. However tangible change in the perception of child’s rights and gender roles in the public discourse have not been noticed, just the opposite, there is a double standard: pretended egalitarian thinking in parallel with hidden but sustainable discriminative practices and media that openly induce and support gender stereotypes. The popular culture increases the threshold of tolerance towards gender based violence, and the society instead of becoming more gender equitable becomes even more gender polarized and closed in the stereotypes.
This project aims to start a larger initiative to raise the awareness of youngsters on the benefits of equal opportunities for both girls and boys, which will also contribute for decreasing the level of gender based violence and negative gender stereotyping.
At the end of the project all participants are expected to be able to identify and define their gender roles; they will be aware of their differences and will challenge successfully the gender stereotypes.
The boys involved in the project are expected to be more sensitive towards the benefits of gender equality and understand/reject the false masculinity of the macho culture and consciously reject violence both against girls and other boys. Boys and girls are expected to avoid gender stereotypes and refrain from gender based violence and harassment in school.
The member organizations of the National network for Children are expected to become more sensitive to gender issues and to participate actively in the development of criteria for labelling “School without gender based violence and negative gender stereotypes”.