Studies, Reviews and Research

The shrinking world of girls at puberty: Violence and gender-divergent access to the public sphere among adolescents in South Africa

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This study of children in grades 5 and 8-9 in KwaZulu-Natal finds greater ‘gender divergence in access to the public sphere’ for older children (those in grades 8-9) than for younger children (those in grade 5).

With puberty, girls’ worlds shrink, while boys’ expand. While this is argued to be for their physical safety, no female group who participated in the study found a community space to be more than ‘somewhat safe’.

These findings emphasize the need for better gender-based violence prevention programming in the region for young adolescents and children.

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