This week, David and Aruna speak with three powerful change makers collaborating to form the UN Girls’ Education (UNGEI) initiative to end school-related gender-based violence in Sub-Saharan Africa. Leading the initiative is a trifecta of development practitioners, action-oriented researchers and behavior change experts – Nora Fyles (Head of Secretariat for the UN Girls’ Education Initiative), Madeleine Kennedy Macfoy (Coordinator in the Human and Trade Union Rights and Equality Unity, Education International) and Rex Fyles (Gender at Work Associate).
We learned some alarming statistic from Nora, the Secretariat for UNGEI: In the Democratic Republic of Congo a UNICEF study tells us that 46 percent of schoolgirls confirmed to being victims of sexual harassment, abuse or violence from their teachers or other school personnel. In Liberia, sex for grades is common with almost 18 percent of school girls, and just over 13 percent of school boys reporting having been asked for sex to get a better grade.
Three years ago, UNGEI approached Gender at Work to design a collaborative process that could help teachers and union activists deal with this problem in a very personal and context-specific way. In this episode, we engage with the project partners and discuss how this program has lead to dramatic transformation, and healing, within communities.