How youth picture gender injustice: building skills for HIV prevention through a participatory, arts-based approach

17 May 2016

Based on the existing literature on the positive relationship that exists between high instances of HIV infections and a high degree of gender injustices in southern Africa, there is clearly a need for HIV-prevention interventions, to focus on the need for changing the existing gender norms. Social change begins with change at the individual level, so the question that this article attempts to answer is: How can we engage youth as key actors in educating their peers on HIV prevention, through a gender lens? Proceeding from a critical paradigm, the article describes how a participatory action-research design, using arts-based methods, has enabled youth to develop self-efficacy beliefs in regard to their ability to design and implement peer- education interventions, in order to raise awareness in the school community of the impact of gender injustices on the lives of youth. The data were collected through drawings, focus-group interviews, photographs, and video recordings of peer interventions. Thematic analysis of the data provides convincing evidence that arts-based methods are effective in developing youth agencies to create and disseminate powerful peer interventions around gender injustice that may make a significant contribution to changing gender norms