The Photo-voice study by Dr Essack

On Thursday the 28th of February Dr Zaynab Essack came to talk to the members of Sizabantwana about an very exciting and important study using photographs to give a voice to young people and adolescents in a community in PMB. Dr Essack is researcher and scientist at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and she has an interest in research regarding the sexual and reproductive social and health issues that affect young people.

In the digital voice study that Dr Essack came to discuss with the teachers, participants were given cameras and asked to document their everyday lives using photographs. The study aimed to explore gender inequality and violence within the community. The images captured by the participants and the focus group discussions that explored the images highlighted the systemic gender-based inequality that is present in the community.

In her workshop Dr Essack also gave the teachers a break-down of what constitutes sexual violence and the construction of gender inequality as well as the legalities of consent to sexual activity including the legal age of consent.

The results of Dr Essack's study indicate a significant culture of gender discrimination and inequality and highlighted the need for future research and strategies to change or address this issue. An issue, that if not addressed, could lead to instances of gender-based violence.

On behalf of the teachers at Sizabantwana, I would like to thank Dr Zaynab Essack and the HSRC for their excellent and important research. I would also like to thank Dr Essack for sharing her findings and her wisdom with the Sizabantwana teachers.

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