Skip Navigation Links
MyPlan Login


A silhouette of a young girl A silhouette of a young girl

Everyone has the right to live without fear. Unfortunately, violence against girls and women is a global issue, impacting communities around the world. Gender-based violence can be verbal, physical, psychological or sexual, but whatever the form, the effect of it is harmful and a violation of a girl’s basic rights.

For millions of girls around the world, violence can often take place in the institutions we trust most to protect and nurture them – schools. This is called school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) and refers to violence in and around schools, for instance on the walk to and from school, or in the classroom.

School-related gender-based violence can come in a number of forms, including:

  • Sexual violence
  • Bullying
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Physical and psychological violence

Violence in school is a global issue

In Plan’s 2012 report, A Girl’s Right to Learn Without Fear, bullying, teasing, and physical and sexual violence were found to be major barriers to girls accessing their right to an education. The consequences of school-related gender-based violence can be long-lasting, and include issues with health (STDs, HIV infection, unwanted early pregnancy), psychological suffering, poor performance in school, absenteeism and high dropout rates.

Fear of gender-based violence from students and even teachers prevents girls from attending school and makes their parents more likely to remove them from school early

An urgent need for change

Plan is working with communities in developing countries around the world to challenge cultural norms and discriminations that exacerbate gender-based violence, and provide girls, boys, men and women with the tools, resources and support to break the cycle of violence. Our global study, Hear our voices: Do adolescent girls’ issues really matter?, gave young girls a platform to speak out about issues like gender-based violence. Insight from this study will help Plan work strategically with girls, boys, families, community leaders and policy-makers in developing programmatic practices that include real, long-term change for girls.

Read the report