The Respectful Relationships program was trialed in Victoria, Australia and is now going to be implemented in all of the state’s public schools over the next two years.
The program, which costs $16.5 million (US dollars), aims to encourage ‘respectful relationships’ between young men and women. Students will be exploring issues surrounding gender-based violence, male privilege and gender inequality.
The report outlines that the reason for implementing such a programme in school is because,
“Children and young people have become one of the most important populations for the prevention of gender-based violence.
The unacceptably high rates of gender-based violence, in particular, violence against women and their children, are well established and there is a clear opportunity to change the story for future generations via the education system.”
The program will be implemented from primary school and taught until students leave high school. It will span a variety of issues regarding gender inequality, from the pay gap to sexual orientation. Primary school students will challenge preconceptions of how boys and girls should act.
James Merlino, Australia’s Education Minister said:
“Teaching healthy, respectful relationships is key to preventing violence and it deserves a place in our curriculum.”
Australia has increasingly been trying to tackle the issue of domestic violence. Our Watch carried out a survey on domestic violence in Australia which showed, that 1 in 3 women experienced physical violence since the age of 15. IT also showed that 1 in 5 had experienced sexual violence.