Itahari takes initiatives to end gender, sexual violence in community schoolsThe sub-metropolis has arranged for a gender focal person in each community school.
Itahari Sub-metropolitan City in Sunsari district has taken initiatives to keep in check the rising incidents of sexual violence in community schools.
The sub-metropolis has arranged for a gender focal person in each community school whose primary responsibility is to raise awareness about sexual violence among students, help them identify inappropriate behaviour and show them the legal course of action in case they fall victim to sexual harassment.
“The sub-metropolitan city has come up with a yearly work plan to appoint a gender focal person in each community school. We expect that the plan will help control gender and sexual violence in schools and the community,” said Laxmi Gautam, deputy mayor of Itahari Sub-metropolis.
There are a total of 36 community schools in Itahari Sub-metropolitan City.
A teacher, preferably a woman, will be appointed as the gender focal person. The designated persons, according to Gautam, are responsible to get information about incidents related to gender and sexual violence and proceed to take legal action against the perpetrators.
The focal persons will study the reported incidents and inform the ward office, sub-metropolis office or police as per the nature of the incident.
“All gender focal persons have been provided with the necessary training so that they can provide counselling to the victims, teach children to protect themselves from such violence, launch awareness classes and inform the authorities in case of any incidents,” said Gautam. The sub-metropolis last week provided a two-day training to the teachers appointed as gender focal persons.
The focal persons appointed in schools have committed to play an active role in keeping in check the incidents of gender and sexual violence.
“I will actively work to end gender violence in our school and community. We will also be launching an awareness campaign against such forms of violence and harassment,” said Srijana Basnet, a teacher who has been appointed as the gender focal person at Madan-Ashrit Basic School in Itahari-13.