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home schoolCombating Gender-based Violence in schools is essential to ensure gender parity, especially at the Primary and Junior High School (JHS) levels in Ghana. From research, HRAC has noted that gender-based violence in schools tends to affect the education and health of girls, typically more than boys. Gender disparity in schools, especially in secondary and tertiary levels, can be the result of gender-based violence occurring at lower educational levels. HRAC’s previous research has shown that GBV tends to hinder pupils concentration in classrooms, it can result in school dropouts and reduce attendance. While this issue is prevalent in Ghanaian schools, according to HRAC’s previous research, only 33 % of pupils in schools have heard of gender-based violence. Hence, the mission to raise awareness in schools becomes a high priority.
Gender-based Violence in schools has been an integral part of HRAC work, substantively in research development and the implementation of educational forums.
On Tuesday, 7th of July, 2015, five HRAC representatives conducted an educational forum to raise awareness on gender-based violence at the OSU Homes JHS. This particular project was targeted for boy and girl pupils of JHS 1 & 2. The main objectives of this forum was to educate students about gender-based violence; specifically, on the root causes of gender-based violence, the types of gender-based violence available and the prevention and response strategies that pupils can utilize to address gender-based violence in their own school.
This educational forum informed students that the causes of GBV mainly stems from unequal and gendered power dynamics, in addition to cultural myths, norms and attitudes. Students learnt the varied types of gender-based violence--physiological, sexual and physical violence—and the effects it has on individuals. Lastly, students were instructed to participate in workshop activities classified as the bully, the victim and the bystander workshop. These activities allowed pupils to learn about each subject and the methods that can be applied in each circumstance. By providing scenarios and questions for each subject, students were able to engage in conversations and share their opinions with classmates, teachers and HRAC staff.