Peering into ‘spaces for change’: empowerment, subversion and resistance in a gendered violence prevention education programme in Kenya

Mary Cobbett-Ondiek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Changing and challenging social norms is essential to preventing gendered violence, and education is widely regarded as a key means through which this can happen. Whilst good research exploring the outcomes of such educational interventions exists, very little is known about what actually happens inside educational spaces aiming to instigate change. This gap limits understandings of how and why change does (or doesn’t) happen. This paper aims to address this by providing an opportunity to peer into a ‘space for change’. The paper analyses observational data from a non-formal education programme aiming to empower girls to be free from violence in Kenya. Three moments will be explored which illustrate ‘empowerment’, ‘subversion’ and ‘resistance’. The paper also explores the, often hidden, stories of the facilitators, showing that who teaches can be as important as the curriculum used in determining what happens inside educational spaces for change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-677
Number of pages15
JournalSex Education
Issue number6
Early online date4 Apr 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Apr 2016

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