Tackling gender stereotyping

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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.”