The Safe Schools Program: A Qualitative Study to Examine School-related Gender-based Violence in Malawi

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Author/Publisher: USAID
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The Safe Schools Program (Safe Schools) is a five-year project under the U.S. Agency for International Development, Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade, Office of Women in Development. The objective of Safe Schools is to create safe environments for both girls and boys that promote gender-equitable relationships and reduce school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) by working in partnership with children, youth, parents, teachers, schools and communities.

This report summarizes the results of the participatory learning and action (PLA) research activity conducted in October and November 2005 to help raise awareness, involvement, and accountability at national, institutional, community and individual levels of SRGBV in the Machinga District in the Southern Region of Malawi. Altogether, 952 pupils participated in the PLA workshops. The focus group discussions included more than 2,000 participants. In addition, 370 key informants including traditional leaders, initiation counselors, members of school management committees and parent teacher associations, head teachers, government Primary Education Advisers, religious leaders, members of the school disciplinary committees (where these existed) and club patrons were interviewed.


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