Gender equality and gender-based violence on top of the agenda in Vocational Education Schools

1 December 2020

Gender-based violence (GBV) and gender equality are at the core of an online training for teachers and psychologists from 12 vocational education and training (VET) institutions, under the joint partnership between UNFPA Moldova and UN Women in VET.


The activity, organized in the context of the 16 days campaign against GBV, complements UNFPA’s efforts to deliver and ensure life skills education for more than 6,000 students in 12 Moldovan VET institutions as part of a comprehensive three-year project co-funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with funds from Austrian Development Cooperation, and in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research.


Under the joint partnership, UN Women, with financial support from Sweden, offered its expertise on gender equality and preventing and combating violence against women (VAW) for 24 psychologists and teachers of the “Decisions for a healthy lifestyle” course.

The training focused on gender stereotypes, the forms, and consequences of gender-based violence, sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination as well as preventing and combating GBV.


In addition to the training, during the 16 campaign days, the participating teachers will conduct information lessons and dedicated activities with their students in the 12 VET institutions.


The joint efforts of UNFPA and UN Women to consolidate the VET system’s capacity in addressing GBV will continue in 2021 with information sessions on gender equality for up to 250 beneficiaries, including VET institutions staff and employees of business companies which are engaged in dual VET education. Further activities will also include the elaboration of a reporting mechanism for Violence Against Women  () and sexual harassment in VET.


According to international education standards, gender-sensitive education is a necessary condition for the achievement of equality between women and men and girls and boys in all spheres of life –  both private and public.  By shaping and reinforcing social norms, attitudes, and behaviors, education is one of the most sustainable and valuable instruments to combat gender stereotypes and bring about cultural and social positive change.


According to the National Survey on violence against children and young people in the Republic of Moldova, the data for 2019 indicates that one in four teenage girls (25.9%) and one in three teenage boys (35.2%) were subjected to physical violence until the age of 18. Most often the aggressor is a parent, adult caregiver or other adult relatives. At the same time, one in seven girls (14.4%) and one in 20 boys (5.3%) were exposed to sexual violence up to the age of 18.


About UNFPA and GBV: UNFPA is one of the UN's lead agencies working to strengthen gender equality and women’s empowerment, and to address the physical and emotional consequences of gender-based violence. UNFPA’s programmes offer psychosocial assistance, medical treatment and rape kits to survivors, and promote the right of all women and girls to live free of violence and abuse.


About UN Women and GBV: UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations (UN), works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls. UN Women leads and coordinates the United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. 


About Austrian Development Cooperation and GBV: Austrian Development Cooperation promotes the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. Its operational unit, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), encourages gender equality in planning, programming and budgeting in order to achieve a more equitable budget distribution at various levels of government. Austrian Development Cooperation supports the European Union’s Gender Equality Strategy and the EU's Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in External Action 2021–2025.

In Moldova, ADA has been supporting a number of interventions aiming to assist youngsters in the sphere of VET to build a carrier and to improve opportunities for employment. Presently, ADA provides support to a project implemented by UNFPA in order to develop life skills and healthy behaviors for students in VET in Moldova.