Friday, April 26, 2019

General tools and measures for addressing sexism 3/5

I. General tools and measures for addressing sexism 

The primary purpose of measures to prevent and combat sexism is to induce behavioural and cultural change at individual, institutional and structural levels.

Tools to prevent and combat sexism can include legislative, executive, administrative, budgetary and regulatory instruments, in addition to plans, policies and programmes. States should choose the tools best suited to their own context and the objective of the particular action. Different tools are needed to address, on the one hand, unconscious bias and, on the other, deliberate sexist behaviour. The former may be addressed through awareness raising, training and education, while stronger measures are needed to eliminate deliberate and persistent sexist behaviour and sexist hate speech. Legislation addressing sexism, including definitions; a user guide; and an indication of the avenues of recourse and reparation for victims, and of the risks and ramifications for perpetrators, are important options to be considered.4

States should draw upon existing tools and ensure their effective implementation or make new tools available to prevent and protect against sexist behaviour, where appropriate, to prosecute and punish offenders and to provide reparation to victims.

The governments of member States are invited to examine the following measures to support the implementation of this Recommendation.

I.A. Legislation and policies

I.A.1. Consider legislative reform that condemns sexism and that defines and criminalises sexist hate speech.

I.A.2. Intersecting factors, differences between women, situational vulnerabilities and aggravating circumstances need to be recognised and taken into account when devising legislation and policies to combat sexism.

I.A.3. Develop and invest in a comprehensive public infrastructure that serves as a platform for women’s empowerment and gender equality and develop a policy framework on the elimination of sexism and gender discriminatory stereotypes, with targeted objectives, benchmarks, timelines, progress and results indicators, and a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to assess the impact of the steps taken.

I.A.4. Encourage the participation of civil society, in particular women’s non-governmental organisations, religious and community leaders, lawyers’ and judges’ professional bodies and labour unions, in the design of policy and legal frameworks aimed at combating sexism, in order to promote collaboration and to ensure their engagement in the implementation of these measures.

I.A.5. Recognise, encourage and support, at all levels, the work of relevant civil society organisations, in particular women’s non-governmental organisations, active in combating sexism in all areas (in particular those covered in Section III below) and establish effective co-operation with these organisations.

I.A.6. Encourage relevant public bodies and services, for instance ombudspersons, equality commissions, legislative assemblies, national human rights institutions, public enterprises and complaints bodies, to draw up and implement codes of conduct or guidelines on sexism, in accordance with a comprehensive policy on the elimination of sexism, and provide such activities with adequate resources.

I.A.7. Consider designating a gender equality body or other official institution with the responsibility for monitoring and evaluating policies and measures for the elimination of sexism in public and private life. Such a body should be afforded the necessary authority and resources to pursue these tasks.

I.A.8. Provide for appropriate remedies for victims of sexist behaviour.

I.A.9. Put in place training programmes for those working with victims and perpetrators of gender-related and sexual crimes.

I.A.10. Consider the imposition of non-criminal penalties, for example the withdrawal of financial and other forms of support from public bodies or other organisations that fail to denounce sexism and sexist behaviour, especially sexist hate speech.

I.B. Awareness-raising measures

I.B.1. Encourage speedy reactions by public figures, in particular politicians, religious, economic and community leaders, and others in a position to shape public opinion, to condemn sexism and sexist behaviour and to positively reinforce the values of gender equality.

I.B.2. Initiate, support and fund research, including collaborative research across member States, that provides systematic and sex- and age-disaggregated data on the incidence and negative impact of sexism and its manifestations, including on sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace, sexist hate speech, targets, perpetrators, the means of transmission, media and public response. Disseminate widely such data on a regular basis to the relevant public authorities, education establishments and the public.

I.B.3. Allocate resources to finance effective communication and awareness-raising campaigns on the links between sexism and violence against women and girls, and fund organisations that support victims.

I.B.4. Design, implement and promote regular national awareness-raising initiatives at all levels and through diverse forms of media (for example the production of handbooks, guidelines, video clips available on the internet and in mainstream media, the introduction of a national day against sexism, the setting up of museums to celebrate gender equality and women’s rights). These initiatives should aim to increase awareness and understanding among the general population, especially parents, of different forms of sexism, including phenomena such as “mansplaining” 5, of how to prevent and respond to them, and of the harm they generate for individuals and society, including girls and boys.

I.B.5. Ensure the design and implementation of tailored, ongoing education and training for educators in all spheres and at all levels of education, including in education establishments, for human resources personnel in the public and private sectors and in professional training institutions (for example the media, the military, medical and legal professionals, and accountancy, management and business schools) on gender equality, the meaning of gender stereotypes, how to recognise and address sexism, prejudices and biases, and how to challenge stereotypes.

I.B.6. Ensure the assessment of textbooks, training materials and teaching methods used by/for pupils of all age groups and in all forms of education and training (starting with preschool education) for sexist language, illustrations and gender stereotypes, and revise them so that they actively promote gender equality.6

I.B.7. Promote a gender equality perspective, as well as the development of critical thinking for the countering of sexism in the content, language and illustrations of toys, comics, books, television, video and other games, online content and films, including pornography, which shape the attitudes, behaviour and identity of girls and boys.

I.B.8. Promote and conduct regular awareness-raising campaigns on the construction of femininities and masculinities and what it means to be a woman/girl and a man/boy in contemporary society, for example through media, free public lectures and discussions.

I.B.9. Encourage collaboration between professionals (for example journalists, educators, lawenforcement agents) and civil society organisations to determine and share good practices on preventing and combating sexism.

I.B.10. Establish structures accessible to all, especially young people, to provide them with expert advice on how to prevent, combat and respond to sexism.

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