‘No place for sexism in schools’ - Hazzard
Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said the recent publication of ‘Its just everywhere; A study on sexism in schools’ should be a stark warning to the education system that reform is urgently required in order to protect children from sexual harassment, sexist language, and gender stereotyping.
The South Down MP said the report’s findings show that sexist language and gender stereotypes are a typical feature of school culture, contributing to a climate in which sexual harassment is commonplace. It also found that more than a third (37%) of girls at mixed -sex schools have been sexually harassed while at school.
Chris Hazzard commented: "The voices of girls throughout our schools who are being subjected to sexual harassment and sexism at school must be heard - and acted on. It is clear that schools must urgently do more to tackle sexism, but they need support and guidance to be able to so effectively. The entire education system, from top to bottom, has a role to play.
"We need to break the mould - the expectations about men and women, and girls and boys, that perpetuate harassment and gender injustice are extremely harmful.
"As uncomfortable as it might be, we have to face up to the level of sexism and sexual harassment in society and what this means for the education of our young people.
“I have now asked the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Education to consider this report as a matter of urgency, and consider what action is most appropriate to ensure this harmful issue is tackled once and for all.”