We are staff and students from a program at a village high school in Ghana in West Africa. Ask us anything. AMA!
My name is Hannah McCollom. I am a volunteer with a US based NGO called Exponential Education in Ghana. I am here with some our students from Antoa Senior High School in Ghana.
The students I have with me are members of our newest program, Boys for Positive Change! Boys for Positive Change (BPC) is our newest pilot program at Expo. With the success of our Girls LEAP, we saw a need for similar mobilization with Senior High School (SHS) aged boys. The mission of BPC is to sensitize boys to recognize social norms underlying gender inequality and empower them to become agents of positive change by challenging these norms.
BPC is an afterschool club for SHS Form 2 boys. They meet once a week and discuss a number of topics which include: • expressing emotions • gender norms underlying inequality • family and relationships • masculinity • violence and gender based violence • community issues
Belief: Domestic violence is an internal, family affair, not a social problem. Fact: It is a social problem: Data from the 2008 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) was analysed. Here are the results: • Of the 1524 ever married women in this study, 33.6 % had ever experienced domestic violence. • Risk of domestic violence was 41 % higher for women whose husbands ever experienced their father beating their mother. • Women whose husbands drink alcohol were 2.5 times more likely to experience domestic violence as compared to women whose husbands do not drink alcohol. • Statistics from the Domestic Violence & Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service indicates that at least 17,655 cases of violence against women were reported to them in 2014. • Violence against women and children has many bad consequences that affect society. - It seriously damages women and children mentally and physically. It creates fear and loss of self-esteem. - It leads to the breakdown of families, society and trust between people. - It incurs costs for medical care and loss of ability to work and earn by women. Children take time off from school.
Belief: A man punishes his wife because she gives him cause to do so. He has rights to punish her because he is her superior & the “head of the household”. Fact: If we accept this belief then we accept that: - Men are superior to women, - “Superior” people are allowed to enforce their superiority by using violence. The idea that men are superior to women is not a fact. It is a value judgement. Women and men have different sex roles and their cultures may give them different gender roles. However these roles should be given equal value and women should be equal to men. This idea illustrates that according to tradition, the man is the head of the family so he can “educate” his wife or children even if this education is in fact just violence and not education. If we accept this belief, then we accept the fact that a man has right to use violence to impose his authority.
These are just a couple of the many beliefs in society about gender based violence.
If you'd like to help our organization out, please donate to our fundraising campaign. Any amount helps. All money goes towards our programs: BPC, Girls LEAP, P2P, and LUV. You can donate at https://secure.anedot.com/expoedu/expoedugivingtuesday Link to website: http://www.exponentialeducationprogram.org/
We are the students and staff of Exponential Education in Antoa, Ghana! Ask us Anything!
Update: We have sent the students home and back to the school to eat dinner and get ready for their week! Staff members are still here to answer questions!
Update #2: It is getting late here in Ghana, so I am going to log off now! I will check back in tomorrow to answer any more questions you may have! Keep commenting!
Final update: Thank you all for the response and questions! Again, if you would like to donate to our program, visit https://secure.anedot.com/expoedu/expoedugivingtuesday or Link to website: http://www.exponentialeducationprogram.org/ Have a great day!