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Gender violence in and around schools: Time to get to zero

D Bhana


Gender violence has been identified as a substantial public health and an intractable educational problem. Violence impacts on children’s health and has numerous effects on well-being. Understanding gender violence in South African education requires a systematic and consolidated evidence base, tailored theoretical framings and advanced research and interventions around the different ways that schools can benefit children and ensure commitment to gender equality and social protection. In this regard, this paper argues that South African schools are failing. Without a comprehensive strategy to prevent violence in schools, the problem remains intractable. There is a need to develop the evidence base for programming in schools which requires consideration of gender as an analytical category, as co-extensive, with children as actively participating in cultures of violence. Understanding the variegated social and cultural positions of children across and within different school settings has the ability to provide a finer-grained, contextually located analysis of gender violence in schools and in doing so could broaden our meanings, and form a platform for identifying ways to address it. The paper concludes with some implications for school-based policy interventions.

Keywords: gender violence, schools, children, agency, interventions

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eISSN: 1728-774X