Navigating agency: adolescents' challenging dating violence towards gender equitable relationships in a South African township.
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Intimate partner violence among adolescents is a result of gender and sexual inequitable norms. South African studies note the high prevalence of intimate partner violence in adolescent relationships with adolescent girls and women bearing the high costs. This article examines adolescent girls' attempts to challenge dating violence and exit violent relationships. It reports the results of a gender empowerment programme linked to girls' soccer in a South African township. The results indicate the complexities experienced by girls moving towards more gender equitable relationships, some strategies they adopt, and some challenges they still face. The programme facilitated by Grassroots Soccer (Soweto) is located in a Black, urban, low socio-economic context with high rates of gender-based violence. While it appears promising, further curriculum development is needed in the programme, particularly in relation to changing gendered and sexualized social norms that prescribe conventional and patriarchal femininities.