Gender violence at Blessed High School : views from learners, teachers and parents at Ugu District in KwaZulu-Natal.
Based on a qualitative study at a school in Imfume, Ugu district in KwaZulu-Natal, this dissertation explores the views of learners in Grade 8, teachers and parents in relation to gender violence. Gender relational theory was used as a lens to explore the views of participants in order to investigate how relations of power are manifested. The semistructured individual interviews and focus group discussions were instrumental within the study with the aim of generating relevant and rich data from the participants. Purposive sampling was used in order to identify relevant participants for the study. The findings from the study reveal that gender violence is shaped by family backgrounds and cultural beliefs. Boys are perpetrators and girls are victims of violence. In some cases boys are also subjected to violence from older boys and girl-on-girl violence is also prevalent. Teachers’ views, attitudes and beliefs played a significant role in normalisation and perpetration of violence in school. Patriarchal and cultural beliefs was evident in the construction of gender identity within the community which further leads to normalisation of gender violence. The findings from the study clearly states that there is a relationship between gender violence occurring at home and the violent behaviour displayed by learners at school which sometimes is a result of the normalization and tolerance of violence by parents at home. The study further states that teachers cannot deal with gender violence alone in schools but a collaborative effort is vital from all relevant stakeholders especially parental body as they are perceived to be the primary educators. The study recommends interventions to create awareness and a safe environment in and around schools with regards to gender violence. This should be done with the purpose to address the gendered and cultural justification for gender violence at school, at home and within the community.