Much media attention is currently being focused on gender-based violence (GBV). It may be of interest to readers of The Village NEWS to learn of a programme successfully used in other countries in Africa. 

Much emotion surrounds the subject, which is multifaceted. The value of this programme is its objectivity in that it is a time-limited, goal-directed and structured approach.

This educational programme was created and developed in Uganda and has been researched and adapted for use in South Africa by the SA Medical Research Council. The programme is known in SA as ‘Stepping Stones’. Its primary goal is the empowerment of women by providing them with new knowledge and the means to develop new skills and attitudes. Men are encouraged to participate.

A few years ago the programme was used by social workers successfully among clients of the local Child and Family Services. Skilled and motivated educators (not necessarily professionals) are required to apply for the programme.

This educational strategy deserves to be used widely. The website of the Medical Research Council provides a programme summary. A copy of ‘Stepping Stones’ is available to interested persons and organisations by sending an email to

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