Global Challenges Research Fellow, Dr Laura Martin, will explore the relationship between humor, violence and gender in Sierra Leone. "This project explores the relationship between humor, violence and gender in Sierra Leone. More specifically, it examines how humor can both instigate and mitigate different forms of violence, with a focus on sexual and gender-based violence. In partnership with the local access to justice organization, Timap for Justice, we are looking to use humor as a starting point of discussion in order to find new and innovative approaches to addressing this highly critical issue in rural parts of Sierra Leone.
"The approach to discussing sensitive subject matter is a starting point to a much more substantial discussion about how to more readily promote gender inequality, reduce inequalities and promote social justice. My overseas partner Timap and I seek to work with rural areas that do not necessarily receive much attention from NGOs, and through the workshops we want to understand the gender-based issues in communities, how they are addressed amongst community members and why they are or are not reported.
"After we have gathered this information we want to work in partnership with these communities to find sustainable solutions that will ultimately help address these gender-based issues, either through local community structures and/or working alongside other organizations to design new ways of reporting abuse. Based on our findings, we intend to write reports that will help inform local and national policy, which will in turn transform how gender-based violence is dealt with in rural Sierra Leonean communities."