Miss Mary Ondiek

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Personal profile

My research interests center on the relationships between gender, sexuality and education. An overarching interest is in the role of schools (as well as non-formal educational sites) in producing, reproducing and challenging gender relations of inequality and constructing masculine and feminine identities. I am keenly interested in power dynamics in adolescent sexual relationships and the role of education in promoting equitable and healthy relationships. My main geographical area of focus is sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular interest in Kenya, although I have also conducted research in the Caribbean.

My doctoral thesis is entitled: 'Empowering girls to claim rights? Non-formal education and the 'stop the violence campaign in Kenya'. This collaborative research project is being undertaken in partnership with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) and will provide a qualitative exploration of the impact of a WAGGGS non-formal education programme aiming to empowering girls to claim rights to be free from violence in Kenya.

Prior to starting my doctorate I worked as a researcher at the Centre for Commonwealth Education, University of Cambridge. Here I worked on two projects, the first explored gender dynamics of schooling in Antigua. The overall aim was to uncover the ‘hidden’ gender inequalities that may exist in a context where the preoccupation has been boys’ educational underachievement. The second was an action-research project exploring the impact of consulting pupils regarding HIV/AIDS and sexuality education in six African countries. 

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