Implicit gender-based violence against Black high school girls in South African township schools




gender, school-related gender-based violance


School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is a major obstacle to universal schooling and the right to education for girls. Inequitable gender norms and stereotypes, based on hierarchies and forms of subordination, amplify and contribute to the SRGBV. Extensive literature on gender-based violence in South African schools exists, and much of it explains the connection between masculinity and gender-based violence. There is a paucity of studies on the SRGBV in South Africa that focus on implicit nature of GBV. This paper draws upon semi-structured individual interviews and focus group interviews with girls, boys and educators at two South African township schools to examine implicit nature of GBV. The findings revealed that boys were the main perpetrators of implicit gender-based violence. The analysis showed that implicit violence took the form of joking, teasing, social bullying, alienation and spreading rumours. While in most cases, the perpetrators of the violence were boys and the victims were girls, we gained a far more comprehensive picture of how GBV was perpetrated at schools. The participants provided us with fresh insights into the complexities of GBV and highlighted the extent to which sociocultural factors have an impact on SRGBV. An important conclusion from this study is that there are multiple and qualitatively different pathways to the enactment of GBV, and it is important to understand these dynamics if school violence prevention interventions are to be effective. This study recommends an integrated, comprehensive approach by all stakeholders in the form of educational intervention programmes towards the eradication of school gender-based violence. It is vital to include boys in these programmes for them to understand the importance of healthy relationships and to break free from harmful stereotypes. Parents, educators, coaches and policymakers play a role in challenging the belief that boys and mens violence is normal.


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How to Cite

Dlungwane, A. D., & Hamlall, V. (2024). Implicit gender-based violence against Black high school girls in South African township schools. Perspectives in Education, 42(1), 98–112.



March 2024 Violence in South African schools Special Edition March 2024