Gender & The Union is a four-part podcast series exploring the importance of policy changes to combat gender-based violence (GBV) in the European Union, and why Relationship and Sexuality Education (RSE) is key to creating an equal and safe future for all.  

Each episode features an open dialogue between policy and decision makers in the EU and the young people advocating for positive change. Topics include the importance of access to sexuality education to develop life skills needed to foster healthier and safer relationships, based on equality and respect; prevention of violence through education; dismantling harmful gender norms; and the impact of inequalities on youth and marginalized groups. 

Episode 3: Creating a society free from sexism and discrimination.

In this episode of Gender and the Union we discuss what the European Union and all of us can do to create a society free from sexism and discrimination, with the EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli and our sexual and reproductive rights youth advocate, Amanda, from Sweden. The episode is moderated by Catherine Bailey Gluckman, Programme Advisor for Youth, IPPF European Network (EN).  

The value of gender equality is close to the hearts of European citizens. 91% of Europeans believe that its promotion is important to ensuring a fair and democratic society. So, what steps is the European Commission taking to diminish gender inequalities? Commissioner Dalli tells us about what the EU is doing to tackle intersecting discrimination and reaching those whose needs are greatest. Commissioner Dalli affirms that SRHR are at the core of gender equalit. Dalli speaks out in favour of relationships and sexuality education (RSE) and affirms that it should be an essential component of the future EU Directive on Gender-Based Violence, to prevent violence. 

We hear how things are locally and nationally in Sweden including some inspiring best practices in how Amanda works with young people to make sure they feel empowered to take decisions about their lives and challenge harmful stereotypes. Amanda has underlined very clearly that it’s not just about a good legal framework in place to ensure sexuality education is delivered, implementation is crucial. There needs to be investment in sustainable programmes, training new educators and school teachers continuously while ensuring that curricula for sexuality education are relevant up-to-date and reflect a broad range of important life skills. 

There is commitment to prevent violence, to fight inequalities, and to adopt strong relationships and sexuality education programmes within individual EU countries.

But this requires a responsibility to do the work yet is also empowering to realize it’s achievable. That data is out there, and keen and willing educators are committed provides means a supportive international community of practice exists. It’s entirely within the power of EU states to make the most of these resources and do their duty to ensure the safety of young people. As Helena Dalli said, this is the way to go. 

Listen to episodes 3 here.  

Subscribe to IPPF’s newsletter for more engaging content about sexual healthcare. 


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