Sustainability & added value

The development of the Master GEAR Package in the English language is the central action that will be undertaken in the context of the project towards facilitating the replication and adaptation of the program in other EU countries. This version of the produced material, which will be accompanied by specific instructions for country adaptation, will serve as the base for interested parties from EU or other countries to develop their own National GEAR Packages and replicate the project.
Our long-term aim will be to use the results of the evaluation to introduce an educational package within the regular school curriculum. The project’s partnership will use the results of the effectiveness evaluation of the GEAR Program as the main argument for promoting its adoption as an effective community policy, namely its introduction in school-based Health Education or other curricula.
It is believed that the wide dissemination of the project’s outputs along with the lobbying letter, at both National and EU level, will enhance the possibility of future adoption of the developed material and process in other EU countries. In addition, the project’s website will be maintained by the project coordinator after the end of the project and all produced outputs will be available in electronic format. In case of any further country adaptation of the Master GEAR Package, the new available material will also be uploaded on the website.
In Greece, the Health Education Coordinators have already committed to lobbying for promoting the adoption of the curriculum in the annual school program as a standard session. It is also feasible that the trained teachers and professionals would be able to train additional teachers in order to incorporate the GEAR Program in more schools throughout the countries. Teachers who will participate in the project will be fully capable to continue to implement the curriculum on a permanent basis after the end of the project. In Germany, for example, it seems to be possible that educational training institutions for teachers at Bundesländer and national level can be convinced to include the curriculum in their permanent yearly programmes.
Furthermore, the purpose for using the follow-up questionnaires with both teachers and students is to test for long-term sustainability, namely to measure whether the modifications observed immediately after the implementation will be preserved in time. 
Throughout the project’s life, all partners will contribute their thoughts and concrete actions towards obtaining sustainability in their countries.
EAVN will also promote the project during the seminars for teachers that it conducts in the context of its regular activities.
As far as the intellectual property is concerned, the ownership of the produced outputs of the given project will belong to the project’s participants who generated them.

Added Value

Even though violence against women occurs in all societies of the world, it is linked to gender based inequalities. It is widely recognised that patriarchal societies and gender stereotypes are two of the root causal factors of IPV, and that in order to efficiently eliminate IPV both of these conditions need to be addressed and dismantled. The Task Force to Combat Violence against Women, including domestic violence (EG-TFV) states that, “Patriarchal culture is an important force in legitimising power inequalities between women and men. It is therefore essential that Member States address discriminatory traditions and attitudes as well as gender stereotypes as root causes of violence against women1. In 2002, the Committee of Ministers recommended to Member States to “introduce or reinforce a gender perspective in human rights education programmes, and reinforce sex education programmes that give special importance to gender equality and mutual respect, as well as to train all members of the teaching profession to integrate the concept of gender equality in their teaching2.
This project aims to achieve these goals by properly educating teachers on subjects related to patriarchal societies and their negative effects on the population, gender stereotypes and their relation to violence, as well as all of the issues surrounding IPV in general. After training, these teachers will have the skills necessary to successfully implement the Gender Equality Awareness Raising Package (GEAR) into schools’ curriculum, aiming to deconstruct gender stereotypes and promote healthy behaviour in intimate partner relationships.
As unfortunately, many EU Member States fail to follow the recommendations laid down by the European Parliament, the European Commission is responsible for enforcing its policies at National level. This project aims to not only introduce EU directed actions in three EU Member States and one Candidate country, but also allows for future implementation in all EU regions and territories.
Gender stereotypes as well as the problem of IPV are EU-wide issues, even though they could have different magnitudes and/or forms. The current project aims to produce a complete Training Package including both capacity building for teachers and implementing the awareness raising program in school settings, all aiming to gender stereotypes deconstruction as a vehicle for IPV primary prevention. It is expected that -after the appropriate adaptation- the GEAR Package could be used in all EU Member States constituting a common practice for EU member states in their effort to promote zero tolerance against violence and more specifically to eliminate the IPV problem.
Additionally, as the four participating countries are intuitively expected to vary among them in regards to the students’ perceptions of inequality between genders, the results of the provisioned activities of the project (training of teachers and implementation in school-settings), as well as the results that will be produced from the different evaluation internal and external components, are expected to constitute useful lessons for other countries with similar social structures as those participating in the project.
The National GEAR Packages could be adapted, translated, and culturally validated in order to be used in additional school settings throughout Europe. Good practices will be identified and combined in such a way that a new and innovative EU-wide school program could be developed and adopted at EU level. Future developments could lead to the ultimate goal of introducing a curriculum that promotes gender equality and zero tolerance against violence for all children, beginning from pre-school.
Overall, this project adheres and responds to a series of recommendations, some of which are:
- Recommendation 1582 on Domestic Violence against Women. Council of Europe
- Council of Europe. (1988). Declaration on the Equality of Women and Men.
- European Commission. (2007). Work programme of the roadmap for equality between  women and men (2006-2010): achievements of 2006 and plans for 2007.
- Promoting Gender Mainstreaming in Schools: Final report of the Group of Specialists on Promoting Gender Mainstreaming in Schools. [EG-S-GS (2004)]. Council of Europe
Recommendation 1281 on gender equality in education. Council of Europe.
  1. Council of Europe Committee of Ministers- CM(2006)93. Task Force to Combat Violence against Women, including domestic violence (EG-TFV), 2006.
  2. Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers. (2002). Recommendation Rec(2002)5 on the protection of women against violence and explanatory memorandum. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers.