Education is a vital element in efforts to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. Sexual assault against girls in and around schools carries the danger of HIV infection. The threat of violence reduces the ability of girls to protect themselves from infection. In this information sheet in Amnesty International calls on governments and schools to take steps such as the prohibition of all forms of violence against girls; provision of appropriate treatment and HIV/AIDS information; and implementation of policies to include girls living with HIV, for example, in schools.

Certain girls face an increased risk of violence at school because of who they are. Lesbian girls, for example, experience both sexism and homophobia combined. Girls with disabilities face both sexism and disability discrimination. In this information sheet Amnesty International calls on governments and schools to train school staff in early intervention strategies and to develop and implement a code of conduct for all students that explicitly prohibits sexual violence and sexual harassment in the educational context

 

Education is held up as the key strategy to empower girls and break the cycles of poverty, to propel social and economic development in poor countries, and to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Many girls from poor families have little or no access to even a primary education, because the costs are beyond their families' means. In this information sheet Amnesty International calls o governments to eliminate direct and indirect fees for primary schools and take steps to make secondary schools accessible to all.

All over the world girls face violence as they pursue their education. Some suffer long-term harm to their mental and physical health. Their human rights are violated. In this information sheet Amnesty International calls on government officials and bodies, including schools, in collaboration with all relevant parties to take six steps to stop school-related violence. These include making schools safe for girls, protection of girls from abuse and the removal of barriers to girls' access to school.

This brief is on education and MDG 3 (Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women), with a focus on target 3.A (Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015). It highlights that education is essential to eliminate discrimination and transform social attitudes and power relations.

This case study was produced for the UN Durban Review Conference organised in Geneva in 2009. It briefly presents the violation of pregnant adolescent girls’ right to education in Tanzania and makes recommendations.

Key resource

This advocacy factsheet is based on Right to Education Initiative report At What Age…are school-children employed, married and taken to court? Trends over time (2011), which provides analysis of legal minimum age for education, marriage, employment and criminal responsibility across 187 countries and raises questions regarding the cross-section of these issues and their effect on the right to education. The factsheet has been developed to be used by civil society organisations to advocate for improving legislation regarding the minimum age for marriage and the minimum age for leaving school.  It gives a brief overview of the issue of early marriage and its impact on education, highlighting statistical data, good practice in law and policy, as well as case studies. It also provides tools and policy recommendations and suggests concrete actions to be taken. It aims at encouraging activists and organisations to monitor the minimum age for marriage and the minimum age for leaving school and to advocate for improving the legislation when needed.

This legal factsheet explains the specific legal obligations international human rights law imposes on states to eliminate harmful gender stereotypes and wrongful gender stereotyping.