Gender-based violence in adult education: The experiences of rural learners and adult educators
Mutongoza, Bonginkosi Hardy
Olawale, Babawande Emmanuel
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Gender constitutes an integral part of both individual and collective uniqueness, and it is distressing that gender-based violence (GBV) remains persistent in education. Gendered violence is a scourge globally, more particularly for educational institutions – which are often imagined to be peaceable and immune to acts of aggression. Around the world, instances of GBV continue to surface at an alarming rate, and South Africa is no exception. The prevalence of violence based on gender continues to threaten the drive towards inclusive education, as contemplated in various policies. Despite South Africa transitioning from apartheid in 1994, it is disturbing that challenges remain in terms of access to education. Although adult learning was implemented as a strategic initiative in the quest for inclusive education in this country, worryingly, GBV continues to pose a threat to the effectiveness of such programmes in rural communities. This chapter seeks, through the lived experiences of adult learners and adult educators in rural areas, to unearth the dynamics of GBV as it relates to adult learning. To investigate their experiences, data was collected using interviews. The findings of the study revealed that GBV remains prevalent as a result of power dynamics, attitudes and socialisation, and social learning, among other factors. As the findings indicate, while it is challenging for traditional South African societies to address GBV, there is a need for all educational stakeholders to spread awareness and advance equality where GBV is most common.