About the Project

What is the project?

Expanding the use of the ‘Gender Equality Charter Mark for Schools’ across Europe is a three-year European Union funded project. There are 9 partners involved from 9 different European countries and each one aims to create a specific Gender Equality Charter Mark that can be used in and by schools (see links at the bottom of the page).

What exactly is a Gender Equality Charter Mark?

It’s a framework that can be adopted by schools to help them look at influencing and informing their leadership, curriculum, physical environment, and the attitudes and relationships of both the students, staff and wider community in relation to gender equality issues. For an example click here to download the original UK based Gender Equality Charter Mark.

We envisage an ever-expanding network of schools throughout Europe and beyond that can provide examples of substantial and lasting change due to the way that the GECM is integrated into school policy and ethos. We see the GECM becoming a more widely recognised symbol for gender equality that is both attainable for schools in any country, yet also prestigious and a symbol of an equal and healthy learning environment.

Why is it important?

The EU sees social norms and gender stereotypes as barriers to girls and women’s agency in social, economic, political and civil life. Socially and culturally we are at a point where gender issues are becoming ever more prominent in social life, both in their potential harm to individuals and society, but also in the need for innovative approaches and solutions.

Gender inequality is also a root cause of gender-based violence. One of the conclusions on ‘the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls’ by the UN Commission on the Status of Women was that educational and teaching materials should be developed ‘in order to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women of all ages, to eliminate prejudices and to promote and build informed decision-making, communication and risk reduction skills for the development of respectful relationships based on gender equality and human rights’ (CSW57, 2013). View CSW report.

The project also supports the work of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 5: ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’.

The objectives of this project are to challenge the negative and damaging norms, stereotypes and expectations by using our GECM to provide a framework for instilling a whole-school approach to gender equality in schools across Europe.

As a result of this we hope to foster and encourage positive change in the approach to gender equality, and develop a culture where children engage their critical thinking skills to understand, question and challenge gender inequality and violence. The change we hope to see includes widening subject and career choices made by pupils and reductions in harassment and gender-based violence in schools and wider society.

Who is it for?

Early Years, Primary and Secondary Schools: a whole-school approach means the target groups are school -children, teachers and headteachers but also parents, administrators and the wider community.

Gender Equality Charter Mark (click here for a project overview document​ which explains what the Gender Equality Charter Mark is, how is it structured, etc).