07 December 2017

Student story: Tackling gender-based violence in Zambia

"I’ve always been interested in gender. Growing up in Zambia, I witnessed patriarchal and phallocentric gender norms. For example, I saw the struggles my mom, a single mother, was constantly exposed to because of her gender, my alcoholic neighbour’s constant wife battering that was often justified, and some working women forced to hand over all their income to their husbands. When I questioned these injustices, I was often rebuked." says McPherlain Chungu, Master Student in International Relations/Political Science.

"I became interested in international affairs when I saw how simple changes in policy can have a huge impact in the lives of women and children. Gender-based violence is a major issue in Zambia, and the government has just approved the publication of a local language novel I’ve written that raises awareness on gender based violence, and about changing gender norms."

"Here at the Graduate Institute, I’m trying to design a project that deals with gender-based violence in Zambia, a project which will give financial independence to women and which will be facilitated by and for women. Ultimately, my goal is to work in a position that impacts policy back home in Zambia."

LEARN MORE: Watch a short video with McPherlain below