Preventing gender-based violence in schools in East and Southern Africa: from consultation to capacity building

Case Studies & Research
Youth Research Centre
35 p.

This report presents findings from a research activity investigating the cultural and contextual relevance of Connect with Respect, a teaching intervention devised to advance teaching for the prevention of gender-based violence (GBV). In 2018, UNESCO commissioned the authors of this report to lead a regional consultation to inform the adaptation of Connect with Respect to meet the needs of schools in the East and Southern Africa (ESA) region and to elicit advice to inform future provision of a capacity-building workshop for trainers. This report first provides an overview of research investigating the drivers of gender-based violence, noting the intergenerational nature of violence-endorsing attitudes and behaviours. It then provides an overview of the prevalence of different forms of gender-based violence in the context of East and Southern Africa. The focus then shifts to consideration of the evidence base available to inform approaches to prevention of GBV in school settings via provision of social and emotional learning and gender education. Having set this context, the report introduces the methods used to consult with representatives from 7 countries about the suitability of the Connect with Respect resource in their contexts and cultural settings. It provides a summary of the findings of this consultation – that with some modification, the Connect with Respect resource was deemed highly relevant, for use in these school settings, but that uptake efforts would need to account for the innovative nature of the pedagogical approaches and there would be an associated need for training in the use of positive discipline. The report concludes with some recommendations about employing participatory and strengths-based research methods for use in consultation around the learning design of school interventions addressing sensitive social issues.

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