Teachers are at the heart of securing the country’s recovery from the pandemic, but real progress won’t be achieved whilst women continue to suffer violence, harassment and abuse, says the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union.
On the eve of the NASUWT’s Women Teachers’ Consultation Conference, the Union is calling on the UK Government to take action to end the scourge of sexism, misogyny and sexual violence and harassment.
Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said:
“The Covid pandemic has seen a significant increase in violence against women, including the murders of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard.
“Amidst heightened public awareness and concern about violence against women, the Government needs to step up and take action.
“More than one in three women have experienced sexual violence, and Black women are disproportionately more likely to be subject to sexual violence and assault.
“Schools and colleges are not immune, as we have seen shocking evidence of daily sexual assaults, including inappropriate touching, sexually explicit and derogatory comments, sexting and upskirting targeting girls and women teachers.
“The Government’s warm words offer cold comfort to women who live daily with violence or the threat of violence in their homes, in their workplaces and in their communities.
“The NASUWT is calling on the Government to ratify ILO Convention 190 on Eliminating Violence and Harassment in the World of Work and to take action to tackle gender-based violence or harassment in all parts of society.
“We also want action from Ministers to properly recognise the vital work of our women members who have served the country on the frontline selflessly throughout the pandemic.
“Four out of five women teachers have told us that their workload has increased and their health has suffered significantly since the start of the pandemic.
“Tackling excessive workload, ending the pay freeze and taking action to support teachers’ wellbeing are vital to retaining highly skilled and motivated teachers who will be critical to securing children’s education recovery.”