Peacebuilding Education to Address Gender-Based Aggression: Youths’ Experiences in Mexico, Bangladesh, and Canada
Building durable peace through education requires addressing the gender ideologies and hierarchies that encourage both direct physical aggression and indirect harm through marginalization and exploitation. Although formal education systems are shaped by gendered patterns of social conflict, enmity, and inequity, schools can help young people expand on their inclination, relationships, and capability to participate in building sustainable, gender-just peace. In this paper, we draw from focus group research conducted with youth and teachers in public schools in Mexico, Bangladesh, and Canada to investigate how young people understood the social conflicts and violence surrounding them, what they felt citizens could do about these issues, and how their teachers used the school curricula to address them. The research revealed that GBV was pervasive in students’ lives in all three settings, yet the curriculum the teachers and students described, with minor differences between contexts, included few opportunities to examine or resist the gender norms, institutions, and hierarchies that are the roots of exploitation and violence.