Gender & The Union is a podcast exploring why policy changes matter to combat gender-based violence in the European Union, and why relationship and sexuality education is key to creating a more equal and safe future for all. In this 4-episode podcast series, we will create a dialogue between policy makers in the EU and the young people looking to advocate for positive change.
In this episode of Gender and the Union we discuss what the European Union and all of us can do to create a society free from sexism and discrimination, with the EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli and our sexual and reproductive rights youth advocate, Amanda, from Sweden. The podcast is moderated by Catherine Bailey Gluckman, programme advisor for youth work at IPPF EN.
The value of gender equality is close to the hearts of European citizens – with 91% of Europeans believing that its promotion is important to ensuring a fair and democratic society. So what steps is the European Commission taking to diminish gender inequalities? Commissioner Dalli tells us about what the EU is doing to tackle intersecting discrimination and reach those whose needs are greatest. Commissioner Dalli affirms that sexual and reproductive health and rights are at the core of gender equality, speaks out in favour of relationship and sexuality education (RSE), and affirms that RSE should be an essential component of the future EU Directive on Gender-Based Violence, as a way to prevent violence.
We’ve heard how things are locally and nationally in Sweden including some inspiring best practices in how Amanda works with young people to make sure they feel empowered to take decisions about their lives and challenge harmful stereotypes. Amanda has underlined very clearly that it’s not just about a good legal framework in place to ensure sexuality education is delivered, implementation is crucial. And there needs to be investment in sustainable programmes, training new educators and school teachers continuously and ensuring that curricula for sexuality education are relevant up-to-date and that they reflect enough of a range of important life skills.
Finally, we also heard that there is a lot of power to prevent violence, to fight inequalities and to adopt strong relationship & sexuality education programmes within the reach of individual EU countries themselves. This does require states to seize that responsibility and do the work. But it is also empowering to realize it’s achievable. That data is out there, keen and willing educators are out there, a supportive international community of practice exists. It’s entirely within the power of EU states to make the most of these resources and do their duty to ensure the safety of young people. As Helena Dalli said, this is the way to go.
This podcast series was commissioned by the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network, produced by Positive Stories and funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC 2014-2020), within the framework of the Youth SpectActors project. The content of this podcasts represents only the views of IPPF EN and is its sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.