At the end of August 2017, Gender Alternatives conducted a second expert meeting for creation of an online simulation game for prevention of sexual violence and harassment against young people. The event is part of a sequence of meetings involving women survivors and experts who work in the field of prevention of gender-based violence. In separate workshops, the GAF team worked with young peers to draft the narrative of the game. Such parallel meetings are held in other 5 countries, part of the CONVEY Project - Counteracting sexual violence and harassment: Engaging Youth in schools in digital education on gender stereotyping.
The discussions focused on two plots which reveal the stories of young people who became victims of sexual violence. These storylines are developed beforehand by the youth peer groups, organized in the project countries. The task of the expert group was to see whether the stories reflect realistically the sexual violence problem and to what extent the plots break gender stereotypes.
The aims of the meetings are to create an online game that can unveil the factors linked to gender stereotypes and gender roles contributing to sexual violence and sexual harassment. The CONVEY team also will present awareness-raising videos (one per country) to be included in the online game and to be used as part of an advocacy campaign.
The project is co-funded by the Rights, Equality & Citizenship Programme of the European Union and it’s being implemented by organisations in 6 EU countries: CESIE (IT), The Smile of the Child (GR), Hope for Children (CY), Sexual Violence Centre Cork (IE), Gender Alternatives (BG), Westminster City Council (UK).
The Istanbul Convention is the first legally binding treaty in Europe that criminalises different forms of violence against women including physical and psychological violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment and rape, stalking, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, forced abortion and forced sterilization.
It emphasises and recognises that violence against women is a human rights violation, a form of discrimination against women and a cause and a consequence of inequality between women and men. The Convention requires the public authorities of State parties to adopt a set of comprehensive and multidisciplinary measures in a proactive fashion to prevent violence, protect its victims/survivors and prosecute the perpetrators. The Convention recognises that women experience multiple forms of discrimination and requires the State parties to ensure that its implementation is made without discrimination on any ground such as sex, gender, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, state of health, disability, marital status, migrant or refugee status or other. It also states that violence against women can never be justified in the name of culture, custom, religion, tradition nor so-called ‘honour’.
Read the full text of the Resolution here.
Hope For Children" CRC Policy Center hosts the 2nd transnational meeting of the project CONVEY - Counteracting sexual violence and harassment: Engaging Youth in schools in digital education on gender stereotyping , welcoming Organisations from 5 countries: CESIE (Italy), Gender Alternatives Foundation (Bulgaria), The Smile of the Child (Greece), Sexual Violence Centre Cork (Ireland), Westminster City Council (UK).
At the meeting, partners present the outcomes of the first meetings with youth peer groups, and survivors of sexual violence and harassment. The consultation is currently being implemented in all countries, and it is contributing to the development of a digital game to promote gender equality.
"Hope for Children" CRC Policy Center and the 5 European partner Organisations, are working to reach an optimal structure and content for the digital game, which will be an educational tool to support teachers in raising the awareness of young people on gender based violence.
A training programme for teachers and educators will be developed and implemented, focusing on how the digital game can be used in a classroom context to inform young people on the meaning and consequences of sexual violence and gender stereotyping, as well as to inform about existing support mechanisms and on how young people can contribute to stop gender based violence.
CONVEY - Counteracting sexual violence and harassment: Engaging youth in schools in digital education on gender equality is co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme of the European Union.
For more information check out our Website at http://conveyproject.eu/
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Source: Hope For Children - Cyprus
Gender Alternatives becomes part of a pilot project ‘Capacity building for Roma civil society and strengthening its involvement in the monitoring of national Roma integration strategies’. The pilot project is managed by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (DG Justice). It is coordinated by the Central European University (CEU), in partnership with the European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network (ERGO), the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC), the Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) and the Roma Education Fund (REF).
The objective of the pilot project is to contribute to strengthening the monitoring mechanisms of the implementation of the national Roma integration strategies through systematic civil society monitoring. The additional value of civil society monitoring comes from the independent status and the field experience of participating NGOs. The pilot project aims to enhance civil society monitoring in two key ways: by developing the policy monitoring capacities of civil society actors, and by supporting the preparation of high-quality, comprehensive annual civil society monitoring reports.
The monitoring shall focus on how the national Roma integration strategies of EU member states are implemented. It shall cover 9 thematic fields and horizontal issues: governance, education, employment, health care, housing, anti-discrimination, addressing antigypsyism, participation of Roma and gender equality.
We are thrilled to be part of this initiative. Our application was chosen among 89 other applicantions. Overall, 10 Bulgarian NGOs are chosen, which are: Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance, Gender Alternatives Foundation, Indy Roma 97 Social Foundation, Knowledge Association Lovech, Largo Association, National Network for Children, Resource Centre for Education and Culture SHAM, Roma Academy for Culture and Education, Roma Foundation ‘Iskra’, World Without Borders.
The concepts of violence and harassment change with societal dynamics and go beyond a face-to-face confrontation between two people. Harassing behavior can occur over a telephone line, in writing, and, thanks to modern technology, over the Internet.
Among the various violent behaviors, the following emerge as particularly common across EU Member States: sexting, submission of nasty messages or emails, threats through the use of ICTs, spreading fake information/defamation, posting humiliating videos or photos without consent, personification in the form of hacking into social network accounts, stalking, blackmailing, happy slapping, name calling, and exclusion.
Although online harassment may be carried out in different ways, the detrimental effects that such behaviours can have on the life of victims are psychological maladjustment, social isolation, feelings of unsafety.
Who is harassed: Age and gender are most closely associated with the experience of online harassment. Among online adults:
Young adults, those 18-29, are more likely than any other demographic group to experience online harassment.
Young women, those 18-24, experience certain severe types of harassment at disproportionately high levels: 26% of these young women have been stalked online, and 25% were the target of online sexual harassment. In addition, they do not escape the heightened rates of physical threats and sustained harassment common to their male peers and young people in general.
Can awareness-raising on gender stereotypes and on the sexualisation of women in digital media support the prevention of sexual violence and harassment against women and girls? The CONVEY project sets out to answer this question.
Through the development of an online game and the implementation of a training programme for teachers and students of secondary schools, the project will aim to foster the respect of women’s rights and to change the behaviour of young people that reinforces gender stereotypes and leads to gender violence.
The project implementation started on September 1st 2016 through the work of the experienced project partners: Gender Alternatives Foundation (Bulgaria), Hope for Children (Cyprus), The Smile of the Child (Greece), Sexual Violence Centre Cork (Ireland), Westminster City Council (UK).
The project is funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programmer of the DG Justice and Consumers of the European Union.
 CYBERBULLYING AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE (STUDY) - Directorate General For Internal Policies Policy Department C: Citizens' Rights And Constitutional Affairs Civil Liberties, Justice And Home Affairs, p.28 (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2016/571367/IPOL_STU(2016)571367_EN.pdf)
 Ibid. p.28
 Online Harassment http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/10/22/online-harassment/
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