Sexuality and relationships education is a vital tool for promoting gender equality and preventing gender-based violence among young people and within our societies more broadly. School environments are in a privileged position to reach young people and facilitate the development of fundamental life skills, attitudes, knowledge, and values. In particular, during compulsory schooling, there is a window of opportunity for schools to make a strong contribution to building students' skills and awareness of social inequalities and discrimination and empowering them with knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their lives.
In 2022, IPPF EN commissioned a baseline study to assess knowledge, attitudes and comfort relating to gender equality and prevention of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) among students, parents and teachers in northern Portugal. The findings of the baseline study can be downloaded below, together with a 1-page summary of the project.
We will continue to build on this study over the coming 3 years, measuring the impact of our gender transformative sexuality education programme delivered in school settings in Portugal. Going beyond the traditional focus on health outcomes of sexuality education, we aim to study the immediate and long-term effect on young people’s knowledge, attitudes and values regarding gender equality. The evidence we intend to provide is that that gender transformative sex and relationships education is key to the prevention of SGBV.