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 4: Combating gender-based violence

In this final episode of Gender & The Union series we discuss how the European Union and the government of Serbia prevent gender-based violence and fight inequalities. It’s a conversation with Ms. Leonetta Pajer, head of Operations at the EU Delegation in Serbia and 16-rear-old Gala, a youth activist from Serbia. The episode is moderated by Catherine Bailey Gluckman, Programme Advisor for Youth, IPPF European Network (EN). 

We hear how gender equality, human rights, and relationships and sexuality education play an important role in the candidature of Serbia to the EU. The conversation also explores how the EU and Serbia are working together to achieve a world free from sexism, violence, and all forms of discrimination. Above all the relationship between the EU and Serbia should be a partnership that aspires to fulfil the hopes of young people like Gala. 

Gala talks about her expectations following the EU accession process, what progress she hopes to see on gender equality in Serbia, as well as what she is personally doing to better the lives of young people who want access to relationships and sexuality education, and who deserve a future founded on equality, with harmful gender norms a thing of the past. 

Quality relationships and sexuality education is necessary to ensure that young people can live fulfilling lives free from gender inequality, but policy changes in the law, democracy, and health are needed too.  

We are now looking to both the Serbian Government and the EU to make this happen together with young activists like Gala and her peers. 

This podcast series was commissioned by the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network, produced by Positive Stories and funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC 2014-2020), within the framework of the Youth SpectActors project. The content of this podcasts represents only the views of IPPF EN and is its sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains. 

Listen to episode 4 here, and episodes 1-3 here.    

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

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The content on Girls’ Globe is created by our members – activists, advocates and experts on gender equality, human rights and social justice from around the world.