'Gender-based violence is a serious problem, but it is a social problem, it is not just a problem affecting young people'

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  • Eider GoiburuWhat is gender-based violence?

Today we have an extremely diverse range of terminology: male violence, sexist violence, gender violence, violence against women, etc. The terminology has evolved, just as the way of understanding this form of violence has changed.

Gender-based violence is violence against women solely because they are seen as women. It is the strategy used in a patriarchal society to maintain the power relations of men over women. It happens in different ways and in different settings: in the family, in the school, at work, in virtual environments, in relationships and so on.

Although we will spend some time clarifying all the terminology mentioned in the first paragraph, the course will focus on gender-based violence.

  • As the media often report, gender-based violence is a serious problem for young people. What do you think about this?  

I agree with the idea that gender-based violence is a serious problem, but it is a social problem, it is not just a problem affecting young people. It is a structural issue. Young people are influenced by the values and messages that they have received during their socialisation through various agents, such as the family, school, media, etc. Indeed, if they have received sexist values and messages, that is what they are going to convey.

At the same time, we must realise the specific characteristics of the way in which gender-based violence is exercised by young people and adolescents. The way they relate to each other, the spaces they use or the people they follow are not the same as in the case of adults. Therefore, all of this must be taken into account if our prevention work is to be effective.

Finally, I think it is important to highlight the initiative and capacity displayed by young people against gender-based violence. Young people are not passive, they take an active stance against gender-based violence. For example, we can mention the videos that have been submitted over the last 10 years to the "Beldur Barik" contest (www.beldurbarik.eus). In these videos, we can see how young people, considering the diverse nature of this concept (sex, age, origin, sexual orientation...), have been able to identify various modes and expressions of gender-based violence and create strategies to confront it. .

  • How can we prevent gender-based violence during youth and adolescence?

Today, there are various lines of prevention. One of the lines focuses on identifying violence, another focuses on positive treatment, and, finally, there is another line of intervention that focuses on promoting processes to empower young girls. On the other hand, there are various levels of intervention: in groups, at the individual level and at the community level. Finally, we have programmes, such as "Beldur Barik" that focus on young people and adolescents. We shall talk about all this during the course.

With all this in mind, those of us who are in contact with young people should review our own behaviour. We usually talk about the sexist attitudes of youth, but what about our own attitudes? What do we convey to young people in our daily lives? We have also been socialised in this sexist society and, therefore, our discourse often follows one path and our behaviour another... Consequently, we will also provide a space to analyse our own attitudes during the course..

  • What goals have you established for this course?

The main goal is to offer some advice (pills) on prevention to various educational agents who are in contact with young people. First, I will offer a theoretical background of youth and gender-based violence. Then, I will propose a range of resources geared towards prevention by promoting a reflection on different modes of prevention. In other words, we will take a journey from understanding the origin of gender-based violence during youth to offering advice (pills) to prevent that type of violence..

The Basque Youth Observatory 

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