Day 10 – Gender Equality
4. December 2010.
Day 12 – Men
6. December 2010.

One of the best ways to prevent gender based violence is to work with young people. Youth is the solution and not the problem.

Violence is a serious issue which directly affects the lives of many young people. It often results in lasting damage to their well-being and integrity, putting even their lives at risk. Gender-based violence, including  violence against women, remains a key human rights challenge in contemporary Europe and in the world.

Focusing on educating young people is crucial in order to foster positive attitudes towards gender equality and to instill zero tolerance for violence against women and girls. It is at this early stage of life that values and norms about gender equality are embedded. Working with adolescents (both girls and boys) presents an invaluable opportunity to cultivate generations in which violence against women is no longer commonplace or tolerated.

Youth participation is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve positive changes in young people’s lives and build a culture for prevention.

Youth participation is one of the guiding principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and as such it is a fundamental right for young people as it enables them to express their views and opinions, receive information, be included and assume duties and responsibilities, influence policy outcomes and involve themselves in all matters that affect their own lives in keeping with their age and maturity.

Youth participation is crucial to end violence against women and girls.

  • A large number of young people do not report incidents of violence in their relationship.  The main reasons listed are: shame (34%), fear of revenge (19%), fear that partner might end the relationship (13%), and feeling responsible for causing violence (13%).
  • 69% of youth said that they have been in abusive relationships where the other person was extremely jealous and that 50% of youth perceive jealousy as expression of love and commitment in a relationship.
  • When witnessing a couple using violence to solve their problems in a relationship, 36% of youth stated that the best thing to do is to stay away.
  • “When women say in NO, in fact, they mean YES!” 46% of young men agreed with this statement.

Research conducted in 2009 by Vesta Association BiH on The prevalence of gender-based violence in adolescent relationships