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During a recent Girl Power workshop, we had a discussion with our girls from the JLMC sponsored school Kyevunze Primary School in Kyevunze village on relationships, the good kind and the bad. Since gender-based violence is a big concern in Uganda, we wanted to highlight with the girls the importance of positive relationships and discuss how to avoid unhealthy relationships. Gender-based violence includes any physical, sexual, psychological, child abuse, dowry related violence or any other harmful practice based on a person’s gender.
We divided the girls up into three groups and asked them to define what is love and what love should look like depending on the relationship — with a boyfriend, husband, or family member.
The girls did give their views on why it may be a disadvantage to have a boyfriend at this stage in their lives. They said having a boyfriend would most likely lead to pregnancy, failure to concentrate on studies, and cheap xenical online dropping out of school. They added that the best time to have sexual relations with boys would be when they are at least 18 years or older and finished with school.
When asked what it means to finish school, one girl said, “sophomore year in high school,”
while another said, “after senior year in high school”. On asking further why they stopped at high school, we realized that these girls so far don’t have any role models from their peers or in their community who have gone beyond senior year in high school. Apparently most of them stop their schooling after sophomore year. The girls were then encouraged to dream beyond high school. Many made promises to have big dreams of finishing university education and getting a good job.
In the middle of the workshop, two girls from the community insisted on joining the group. They are in high school and were very interested to learn what Girl Power was all about. This is a good sign that our Girl Power
program is reaching well beyond the schools and into the communities!