|UN Women: In Kyrgyzstan students and teachers are using their summer vacations to learn about principles of human rights and gender equality|
BISHKEK, 14 July. In Kyrgyzstan, issues like bride kidnapping, domestic violence, early marriages, and racketeering at schools stand on the way of successful development of a peaceful and safe environment in schools and society as a whole. Therefore, during July, 2014, students and teachers from more than 50 schools will be empowered and educated to train their peers on the basics of gender equality and human rights.
Participants will gain training skills and enhance their critical thinking for team building to become peer-educators afterwards. They will serve as mentors and informal counselors for conflicts at their schools and in their communities and will lobby for the values of a free and democratic society.
Training and discussions will be conducted by experts from UN Women under the ‘Gender Justice and Girl Empowerment’ project financed by the European Commission. The manual “My Safe and Peaceful School” will guide peer educators who were elected at their schools and peers. The handbook will also serve as an additional teaching resource for teachers across Kyrgyzstan.
Gerald Gunther, who heads UN Women Kyrgyzstan’s Women, Peace and Security Cluster says: “UN Women Kyrgyzstan designed ‘My Safe and peaceful School’ in close consultation with Government to empower youth and prepare them for an active role in society. Skills built during the course will not only enhance employment opportunities of kids about to graduate, but it will also prepare a generation that lives the principle of the Kyrgyz Republic Constitution which holds high the values of a democratic, open and free society with equal rights for all. UN Women thereby makes a contribution to young people acting as true patriots building a stable Kyrgyzstan based on the rule of law.”
Aigerim, a 8th grade student from school #1 of Sokuluk region says: “I would really like to participate in the development of a good advocacy campaign for my school to promote gender equality. My classmates and other students should understand that girls, just like boys, can be scholars, technicians, mechanics, and run a factory. Now I know it is possible. But also, in relation to the problem of early marriages in our community I am keen to learn advocacy tools helpful to convince girls of my age and the wider public not to support or condone early marriages, but strive for girls to continue their education to be able to build more healthy and harmonious families when they are ready to do so.”
For further information:
Activities in the context of the European Commission financed Promoting Gender Equality and Girl Empowerment project that is implemented by UN Women and three local NGO are aimed at strengthening the potential of both women and men to lobby for gender equality, monitor progress towards gender justice, and promote equal participation of young women in conflict management. Mediation is considered to be an effective tool for conflict resolution and integration of youth into community.