On 6 March, the Chamber of Deputies approved the bill “Establishing Measures to prevent, condemn and eradicate gender-based violence against women” in the third constitutional process. A few days later, the Constitutional Court rejected a request by a group of parliamentarians to declare “non-sexist” education unconstitutional.

The new law defines gender-based violence as any act or omission that causes death, injury, or suffering to women because of their gender, wherever it occurs, whether in public or private life; or a threat thereof.

It is important to note that this law, also known as the Comprehensive Law for the Protection against Gender-Based Violence, assigns the State a leading role in the necessary cultural change, to be exercised through the Ministries of Women and Gender Equality, Health, Education and its Interior and Public Security.

That is why Article 12 states: “The Ministry of Education shall promote the principles of gender equality and non-discrimination and the prevention of gender-based violence” and in the second paragraph: “Educational establishments recognized by the State shall promote non-sexist and gender-equal education and shall take into account in their internal regulations and protocols the promotion of equality of dignity and rights and the prevention of gender-based violence in all its forms”.

Non-sexist education is directly related to education free of discrimination and gender stereotypes, which is the opposite of sexism, which is a form of gender discrimination that assigns certain roles to men and women.

Those of us who work on issues of coexistence and violence in school contexts have empirical evidence that the educational system reproduces sexist patterns that are normalized in our culture and need to be deconstructed and denormalized. Furthermore, gender-based violence is the main cause of violence in the educational system (second study on gender-based violence in school contexts).

It has been shown that the application of condemnations and the neglect of the pedagogical role required to combat violence is not the way forward. We therefore fail to understand why 54 MPs and civil society groups believe that promoting non-sexist education violates the right of families to prioritize education.

The area in which the most and best results can be achieved to achieve greater equality of dignity and rights between men and women, as well as to reduce gender violence, is the school. It is not enough to declare it, but it must be done deliberately, by promoting non-sexist education, because it is a protective factor that helps to prevent and combat the gender-based violence that women, dissidents, and even men live with. What is achieved at this stage will last a lifetime.