Our Girls, Our Future: Building Synergy to End Violence Against Girls in Zambia
By creating safe spaces for adolescent girls in Lusaka, Zambia, the Council is part of a coalition that is helping to build girls' social, health, and economic assets in order to prevent sexual and gender-based violence.
The Population Council is improving the well-being of adolescent girls in Zambia by developing and evaluating programs that provide them with safe spaces where they can learn and develop social networks. By building coalitions and nurturing key alliances, we are helping our partners expand approaches we find to be successful.
In response to a landmark court case that mandated Zambia's Ministry of Education to ensure that schools provide a safe environment for girls, the Council, as part of the Tisunge Ana Athu Akazi Coalition (TAAAC), which means "Let us protect our girl children," led by Equality Now, is working to develop and evaluate a school-based program for adolescent girls in Lusaka. Implemented by the YWCA of Lusaka, Campaign for Female Education, Forum for African Women Educationalists of Zambia, and Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia, the program consists of weekly group meetings in the school setting where girls learn about and discuss sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) rights and responses, HIV and sexual and reproductive health topics, financial education, and life skills. Groups are led by a combination of junior mentors (young women from the same school) and senior mentors (respected women in the community and teachers).
The Council is also leading the evaluation, which will include baseline and endline surveys of knowledge, attitudes, and practices among girls and boys in each of the six intervention schools, as well as comparison schools.
TAAAC activities also include radio shows, media responses to SGBV, legal reform, training health service providers, and working with boys and men as partners.
Ultimately, this work aims to empower adolescent girls, sensitize boys, and strengthen the ability of school systems to prevent violence against girls.
Baseline data were collected in June 2011. Thus far the program has reached over 600 girls and trained over 60 female mentors.
Banner photo: © Richard Lord
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Location: Zambia (Lusaka)
Poverty, Gender, and Youth
Duration: 2/2010 - 12/2012
Population Council researchers:
Campaign for Female Education (Camfed USA)
Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Zambia chapter
Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia
Young Women's Christian Association of Zambia
UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women through Equality Now