Sexual harassment and abuse of adolescent schoolgirls in South India

Sitaram, Shashikala and Leach, Fiona Elizabeth (2007) Sexual harassment and abuse of adolescent schoolgirls in South India. Journal of Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, 2 (3). pp. 257-277. ISSN 1746-1979

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Abstract

This article reports on a small exploratory study of adolescent girls' experiences of sexual harassment and abuse while attending secondary school in Karnataka State, South India. In South Asia, public discussion of sexual matters, especially relating to children, is largely taboo, and the study uncovers a hidden aspect of schooling, which presents a further barrier to increasing girls' educational participation in India. Data from open-ended interviews and a participatory workshop in two schools revealed that girls were vulnerable to sexual harassment both within the school grounds (mostly by male pupils) and while travelling to and from school (by older boys and adult men), especially on public transport. For some girls, sexual harassment reduced their desire to continue their schooling, for others it increased their fear of being withdrawn if parents came to hear of any incident. Given the reluctance in patriarchal societies to address the abuse and exploitation of women and girls, the authors suggest that further research into this issue is urgently needed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: abuse, girls' schooling, India, participatory research, sexual harassment
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions and public administration (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.) > JQ0021 Asia > JQ0200 India
L Education > L Education (General)
Depositing User: Michael Davy
Date Deposited: 14 May 2013 13:04
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 13:03
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/44709
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