OLICO Youth cares about more than only our learners’ academics. We ran a collaborative workshop with 50 learners in Diepsloot about preventing gender-based violence. The workshop was help on 30 November 2016 and with sessions by OLICO Youth, Sonke Gender Justice, and Section 27 team members. Funded by the Foundation of Human Rights, this interactive learning experience formed part of the international campaign of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.
It was a sweltering day, even under the shelter of the tent, but learners engaged enthusiastically and critically with issues of gender equality and violence prevention. We explored the relationship between gender roles and sexual violence, looking at the invisible messages all around which tell us how men and women should behave and which normalise gender based violence. Many of our learners reflected that although these messages can be powerful, we don’t have to adhere to gender roles which encourage aggression in men and subservience in women.
Tina from Section 27 and Nthabi from Sonke Gender Justice then led a workshop on sexual violence and what processes to take if you have been abused sexually. Finally, the workshop ended after brainstorming ideas on how to prevent gender-based violence at the individual and collective level. The learners suggested ideas such as rejecting harmful gender roles, and coming together as a collective to protest against gender based violence.
OLICO Youth is proud of our learners that represented us at the event. We are also grateful to have been given this opportunity to co-host a workshop on such an important issue especially in a community so heavily affected by sexual violence.