Campaigning and awareness-raising work is a key component of a Whole School Approach (WSA). Preventing gender-based violence (GBV) relies on people being aware of the issue and taking action to address gender inequality. The work you do should support, and be supported by, a wider movement for change. Schools and colleges can engage in a range of campaigning work – in schools, and on a local and national level.
Campaigning in School
Schools and colleges have the potential to be very effective settings for campaigns. Moving beyond the delivery of Prevention work raises its priority and profile and demonstrates a strong organisational commitment to the cause. Campaigning builds momentum and involves more people, enabling staff and students to work together towards a shared goal.
Tips for campaigning with young people:
- Consider and understand your audience. When planning your campaign ensure it’s age-appropriate and engaging for your audience and participants.
- Make it accessible. Ensure the campaign is inclusive, diverse and centres the voices of racialised and marginalised young people.
- Be creative. Use art and other visual mediums to create a campaign that is eye-catching and attention-grabbing.
- Make some noise. These are serious issues but campaigning should be fun. Keep young people engaged by making it interactive and rewarding.
- Keep it current. Ensure you are listening to young people and asking them about the things that are most relevant and important to them.
- Back it up. Integrate the campaign into lessons, assemblies and training.
- Find allies. Link up with local and national campaigns that can support the work you are doing.
- Provide access to support. Ensure that the staff and students involved have information on how to access specialist support.
You can find out more about involving young people here.
Local and National Campaigning
Local campaigning is a good example of partnership working. There are some great examples of local and national campaigns that schools can join and learn from, including:
Our Streets Now run Our Schools Now, a campaign for every young person to be taught about public sexual harassment (PSH) They have also partnered with the Safeguarding Network to produce a teacher training pack designed to be delivered by designated safeguarding leads to the whole staff team around PSH. You can download it here.
The Black Curriculum campaigns to embed Black history into the national curriculum.
The #VoicesProject is an anti-racist, critical and inclusive teaching resource as well as a listening programme in schools – a collaboration between students, teachers, community members and institutions.
Campaigns to end online abuse
Glitch x EE Hope United: Online Safety Bill campaign. Glitch is working with EE Hope United to highlight online abuse and the Online Safety Bill, to make it safer for women and girls.
Gender equality campaigns
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10th December, Human Rights Day.
International Day of the Girl by Plan International takes place on the 11th October every year.
This Girl Can is a nationwide campaign to get women and girls active in ways that suit them.
Enough. is a government campaign to stop the abuse of women and girls.
The LGBT Foundation ‘Enough’ campaign encourages the community and allies to come together and demand an inclusive and equal society that celebrates all LGBT identities.
The End Violence Against Women Coalition’s #AboutTime campaign demands action to end gender-based violence (GBV) in education.
Everyone’s Invited campaigns to expose and eradicate rape culture.
Staff should be active in identifying campaigns the school can take part in, and young people want to be part of. Think about what you can do to promote relevant days within school and try to tie in lessons and activities to the themes of the day.