TIGER (Teaching Individuals Gender Equality and Respect) is a Montpelier-based workers cooperative that runs gender education workshops across Bristol. In light of the recent #MeToo campaign, they are encouraging schools to prioritize developing strategies that will put a stop to sexism and sexual harassment for young people.
“Challenging the cultural scripts on identity and gender and teaching about the importance of consent to young people is the only true way of tackling these issues for young people”
Girls aged 13-21 see sexual harassment at school on a regular basis and many have experienced sexual harassment themselves over the past 12 months. This includes sexual taunts (41% had experienced this in the last year) and unwanted touching (19%).
TIGER works to tackle these statistics by delivering innovative workshops to raise awareness of the impact that gender norms and the media (including the porn industry) have on young people’s identities, mental health and relationships. This includes issues of consent, awareness of trans and non-binary identities, toxic masculinity, sex and relationships. They are now seeking more youth settings for their 6 week project; the Gender Equality Ambassador programme (GEA). Through GEA young people work towards an end of year community exhibition, showcasing young people’s creative responses. TIGER have already worked with UWE, Bristol University, Learning Partnership West and Redland Green, City Academy and Cotham schools.
Rosie Sinfield, the programme coordinator, says, “When young people are still being told that being a man is based on dominance, sexual prowess and bravado and that being a girl is about your appearance and your relationship to men, no wonder there are currently huge issues around sexual harassment and consent. TIGER believes challenging the cultural scripts on identity and gender and teaching about the importance of consent to young people is the only true way of tackling these issues for young people”.