Tackling gender stereotyping

Changing young people’s attitudes to violence against women.

Transforming gender stereotypes is key to tackling violence against women and girls, according to a report published today.

The Young People’s Attitudes to Violence Against Women report, which surveyed 11 -18 year-olds, found that those who held stereotypical gender views were less likely to view sexual harassment or controlling behaviour as seriously wrong. Boys were more likely than girls to hold discriminatory attitudes when it came to gender.

The report, published during the international campaign for 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-based Violence, also reveals a heightened awareness among young people about newer forms of violence against women and girls, including revenge porn, and the need for this to be tackled.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance said:

“Violence against women is both a symptom and cause of wider gender inequality in our society, and this survey has reflected that. We are determined to bring a halt to gender discrimination - we want every young person in Scotland to develop mutually respectful, responsible and confident relationships with others.

“This report flags areas we all know are a concern, and that’s why we are working to change attitudes at an early stage, through record levels of investment for the prevention of violence against women.

“Through our Equally Safe strategy, we are working with Education Scotland and the General Teaching Council in creating a framework for gender-based violence programmes in schools, as well as ensuring teachers are given support and resources on equality issues throughout primary and secondary school.

“In addition, we have committed £2.58 million to Rape Crisis Scotland for 2015-18 and a substantial proportion of this funding will be used to deliver programmes engaging with school children on gender stereotyping and different forms of sexual violence.

“Young people have told us they are aware of the use of technology in new forms of violence and that they want this to be tackled – which is why we are continuing to modernise our laws and through the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Act revenge porn will soon be illegal.

“Ending violence against women has to be part of a broader strategy to achieve true gender equality in Scotland, and that’s what this Government aims to do. By addressing gender stereotypes, campaigning for gender equality in the boardroom and helping women into work we are determined to create a society where discrimination has no place.”



25th November – 10th December marks the international campaign for 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.

The Scottish Government’s Equalities, Children and Young People and Families Early Intervention and Justice funds have collectively given £2.58 million over 2015-18 to Rape Crisis Scotland.  A substantial proportion of this funding will go to their sexual violence prevention programme, which carries out sexual violence prevention work in schools.

Through the programme, Rape Crisis Scotland engage with young people on consent and different forms of sexual violence, and discuss expectations around sexual behaviour. The programme also helps young people access support, as well as participate in initiatives such as peer mentoring and social media education.

The Scottish Government has committed an additional £450,000 for the three years (2015-18) to accelerate the delivery of the Mentors in Violence Prevention programme which is currently operating in 13 local authorities,  in 91 schools, reaching more than 17,000 pupils. By the end of 2017, the programme will be in a further four local authorities and is aiming to reach over 30,000 more young people across schools in Scotland.

The Scottish Government published ‘Guidance on Developing Policies to Promote the Safe and Responsible Use of Mobile Technology in Schools’ which promote the safe and responsible use of mobile technology in schools http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2013/11/4092).

Schools are encouraged to use an e-safety self-review tool. The objective of this is to help ensure that schools have robust, up to date e-safety policies.  Schools can visit www.360safeScotland.org.uk  which provides a user friendly and interactive means for schools to build on existing e-safety.

Respect for All, the refreshed national anti-bullying strategy for children and young people, will take a holistic approach to addressing this issue. The Scottish Government is currently undertaking further engagement with Holyrood’s Equality and Human Rights Committee, welcoming its input into the strategy before it is published.


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