"The Role of Education in Preventing Gender-based Violence"
February 7-8, 2002
San José, Costa Rica
Description | Participants
and Proceedings | Images
"Shattering myths and writing another kind of
history, one that encourages the diversity of women's political
participation, is the work of many years. When women are subordinated
socially, economically, and politically, this work requires both
collective and personal struggle in the search for justice and equality.
. . . Education that incorporates these personal stories and social
histories allows attitudes to be transformed, and encourages a new
social environment that constitutes one approach to the prevention
of all types of violence. It is one tool for planting and constructing
a society with gender equity and peace, in which there is a common
understanding that we build society and that all of us-women and
men-are responsible for that society."
--Norma Quixtán, Guatemala
"The formal educational system has an important
role in cultural change that transforms gender relationships. But
an urgent and significant transformation is needed, in which families
and schools have a coordinated responsibility in change to balance
relationships between genders, but also between races and ethnicities.
The topic of ethnicity must be assumed beginning in primary schools,
encouraging an education that incorporates nonsexist and nonracist
--Altagracia Valdez Cordero, Dominican Republic
"Sexual harassment in school is illegal in the
United States, yet according to several national studies, it is
pervasive, with severe consequences. These studies, as well as the
practices and programs that have evolved from them, have by and
large excluded disabled student. Yet what little we know about sexual
harassment and students with disabilities suggests they may be a
particularly high risk, and girls may face some unique issues."
--Harilyn Rousso, United States
Thus began an inter-American forum held in February
2002, sponsored by the Gender, Diversities & Technology Institute
at EDC and
the Center for Research in Women's Studies (Centro de Investigación
en Estudios de la Mujer) at the University of Costa Rica. The
brought together researchers and practitioners from across the
Americas to share their approaches to the theme of violence education
prevention. Representatives from 10 countries-Canada, Chile, Costa
Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua,
Paraguay, and the United States of America-shared learnings and
dialogued over the course of two days with the goal of exploring
different contexts and approaches, as well as identifying possible
areas in which to establish bridges and other forms of collaboration
Panels and discussion addressed such topics as "Reconceptualizing
Gender-based Violence from the Perspectives of Diversity,"
"The Sociocultural Construction of Gender-based Violence,"
and "Networks, Interinstitutional Alliances, and the Prevention
of Gendered Violence." Reflected Dr. Laura Guzmán, co-coordinator
of the forum, "Despite the short amount of time we were together,
we shared knowledge and experiences and gained a broad sense of
what this group is doing. Larger events generally don't allow us
reach this shared vision. We also worked to construct alliances,
and to begin to establish relationships that are going to develop
into working relationships and a different kind of collaboration
from which each of us can benefit."
For further information or a copy of the forum
contact Sundra Flansburg.