Nurturing Resilience Among Young People in the context of Sexual Violence
When: Tue, Mar 10 2020 1:00pm
Where: UNM SSCI 1061 Sociology Commons Room
In many communities, unequal gender regimes and practices that make up the social ecologies in which girls and young women negotiate their lives tend to make vulnerable to gender-based violence, including sexual violence. Such social ecologies are often characterised by customary practices, including taboos relating to discussing sex and sexuality across generations. This silences dialogue and debate that could socialise young boys to respect women’s bodies and ultimately prevent the perpetration of violence in families and communities. Girls and women are left to negotiate their lives in the context of this violence without the necessary normative social intervention.
This presentation will explore the ways in which challenging and ultimately transforming the unequally gendered social ecologies (in families, communities, institutions, the workplace and the streets) that make it possible for sexual violence to occur, might help build resilience among girls and young women. The presentation will explore how girls in rural communities might effectively negotiate their lives and overcome the negative impacts of violence, including sexual violence. In particular, using an ecological systems approach, it will explore resilience as a co-produced process of positive adjustment (Panter-Brick, 2015; Ungar, 2015) among girls and between girls and significant others in communities. Findings from ongoing research with girls and young women in rural KwaZulu-Natal (see Moletsane, 2018) suggest that creating spaces for critical dialogue, debate and action (through for example, the use of participatory visual methods), enables girls and young women to not only deepen their understandings of sexual violence, it also helps them to identify possible strategies for addressing it. PVM allows the girls and young women, through their agentic engagement with their peers, adults in schools and communities, and policy makers, to explore critical areas for intervention and strategies for promoting social change.