31 Things British Columbia Can Do Right Now to End Violence Against Women
5.Make addressing women’s inequality a core learning objective for all BC students
Apart from the fact that anti-violence work is urgent and relevant everywhere in our society, it is especially vital in secondary schools, where the highly gendered nature of violence is often obscured by all-encompassing terminology. The term ―bullying for example, can mask sexism, racism, homophobia, and violent crimes like sexual assault. Failing to name forms of violence for what they are makes them, and their victims, invisible. Zero tolerance policies can further alienate victims and leave bystanders feeling helpless, because they are armed with knowledge of the problem but not the solution. By educating emerging generations, it is possible to replace harmful belief systems with a focus on equality, dignity, and respect for all women. This education could address gender inequality from many angles by emphasizing the systemic and intersectional reality of oppression and by encouraging the development of skills required to stand-up in the face of oppression. By teaching young people that women are valuable, we can send the message that violence against them is unacceptable.
Women in British Columbia have waited too long already. That is why we are offering 31 things that BC’s new Provincial Office of Domestic Violence (PODV) can push for right now to increase safety for women and to bring us closer than we have ever been to ending violence against women once and for all. We are calling for 31 social, economic and legal changes, none of which are unachievable in this province. Some would require very little financial investment, and each of them will save resources in the long term given the high costs of violence against women.
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