Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women’s Day 2013 at school

"To empower women and ensure equality, we must challenge every form of violence every time it occurs."

Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General on International Women’s Day 2013

"Violence against women is one of the most deadly and widespread violations of women's rights across the world. Globally up to 7 out of 10 women experience some form of physical or sexual violence during their lifetime. Violence against women takes many forms - physical, sexual, economic, psychological - but all of these represent a violation of human dignity and human rights and have lasting consequences both for women themselves and for their communities."

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on 8 March, is: “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women” 

From China to Costa Rica, from Mali to Malaysia, acclaimed singers and musicians, women and men, have come together to spread a message of unity and solidarity: We are "One Woman".

Launching on International Women's Day, 8 March 2013, the song is a rallying cry that inspires listeners to join the drive for women's rights and gender equality.

"One Woman" was written for UN Women, the global champion for women and girls worldwide, to celebrate its mission and work to improve women's lives around the world.

This year, International Women's Day focuses on ending violence against women — a gross human rights violation that affects up to 7 in 10 women and a top priority for UN Women. 

As commemorations are underway in all corners of the globe, "One Woman" reminds us that together, we can overcome violence and discrimination: "We Shall Shine!" 


Education is a key to elimination of violence against women through the challenging of dominant gender norms and stereotypes among young people leading to more gender equal relations within which violence is minimized. 

Education reforms and programmes can thus play a major role in prevention of violence in various ways: through increasing school safety, promoting gender equal attitudes and practices amongst staff and students, and empowering women and girls to enable them to enjoy their full human rights."


Some Activities:
  • Prevention of gender-based violence in schools;
  • Reducing violence against girls by challenging traditional gender norms through education;

  • Invite students to create a Charter (girls and boys);
  • Ask for young male students volunteers to train them as "school ambassadors” against violence in the play-ground of school;
  • Life skills education to transform the lives of adolescent girls by the use of Sports at school.

Level: All levels (teachers must adapte the activities to students' profile)

Curricula: Cross-curricula.

Other Resources:
  • A Song:
"One Women" is an interesting resource to explore in the classroom as a cross-curricular project:

- Languages: Native and Foreign Languages

- Arts: Music

Students will be invited to hear the song (mobile devices, smartphones, tablets, laptops);

- Learn the lyrics: it will be a good resource to pronunciation and vocabulary exercices;

- Write new lyrics (girls and boys) and adapte to the original music;

- Compose a new melody and include original lyrics of the song;

- Compose and write an entire new song.

Level: Primary; Elementary; Secondary Education.

Mind the Gap (online) | UNESCO
  • A Game:
"Mind the Gap": Gender & Education is an online game.

UNESCO’s Mind The Gap is an interactive game that compares literacy rates by gender around the world, along with years of schooling. It’s well-done, very interesting for learning about the world's different cultures.

Mind the Gap is available in English, French and Spanish.

A good and captivating resource. Share the link wiith your students. They can use their mobile devices in the classroom.

Level: Elementation Education.
  • An interactive Map
"How have women's political rights changed around the globe to get to this International Women's Day?"

This interactive map by Lustlab's Lizzie Malcolm (Amsterdam) shows the long history of the fight for suffrage and political representation around the globe. 

Students must click and drag on the year slider to see the changing face of women's political representation over the years.

  • Portraits: Tribal Heroines
The resistance of many tribal women is growing. Survival International’s photographic gallery celebrates "International Women’s Day" with fantastic photos.

Let your students discover the beautiful portraits of tribal women that profile some of the courageous and inspiring women who are fighting for their lands to be returned to them and for their fundamental human rights.

Level: Secondary Education
  • A film:

This year, International Women's Day is being celebrated in a big way online. Today's Google Doodle is a montage of chubby female cartoon faces of all ethnicities smooshed together and IWD's Facebook page has at least 5,454 people talking about it Right Now.

- Ask your students (girls and boys) to write creative messages about IWD and publish on Facebook Timeline of the school account (teachers and students);

- Invite students to write in 140 characters inspirational quotes about mothers, grandmothers, sisters, girl friends, women teachers interacting with other classes on Twitter account (teachers and students). 

"We must educate to shape new norms and behaviours. We must support women in becoming leaders in all fields of human endeavour" 

Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director- General


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International Women's Day 2013 | UN

International Women's Day | UNESCO

One Woman | UN

UNESCO Education

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