Let's Talk Africa

One of the perilous unintended consequences of international education policy is the misunderstanding of the relationship between child sexual abuse and the schooling of girls. Development literature indicates that education is strongly associated with decreased rates of early childhood marriage, yet education may also expose girls to other forms of sexual violence associated with school. The relationship between schooling levels and these other forms is not well established. Jessica will share findings from her research which seeks to address these literature gaps by examining how the prevalence of female child sexual abuse is affected by the education of girls including the environments in which they learn. Using a mixed-methods approach, the study analyses results of a field-survey using a stratified-cluster sampling of over 700 young Liberian women and their parents to investigate whether sending girls to school has unintended consequences of higher risks of other forms of sexual abuse. This analysis further explores how this relationship relates to additional factors of household knowledge, attitudes and behaviours, demographics, and the provision of a safe learning environment. The study further incorporates an evaluability analysis of 15 stakeholder members to qualitatively understand the relationship between girls' education and child protection. The ethical and policy-relevant ramifications of this research are crucial at a time when girls are entering the classroom at higher rates each year, yet without fully understanding how to ensure her protection and uphold her potential agency.

Friday, February 28, 2020 - 13:00
4217 W. Wesley Posvar Hall