• Call for Men to Fight Gender Violence

    According to the United Nations, one in three women will be beaten, raped or abused in her lifetime, translating to one billion women who are both directly and indirectly affected by gender violence.
    The gender-based violence (GBV) Indicators Study carried out by Gender Links in six countries of Southern Africa, show that the most predominant form of GBV experienced by women and perpetrated by men occurs within intimate partnerships.
    According to the study, men who were abused in childhood were more likely to be violent to their partners and were also more likely to have done so more than once.
    To read the article titled, “Africa: A call to men to fight gender violence,” click here.

    Times Live
  • Zozo’s Killer to Spend 30 Years in Prison

    Lekgoa Motleleng, a man accused of killing Duduzile Zozo, a lesbian from Thokoza, Johannesburg, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison in the South High Court in Johannesburg.

    Motleleng pleaded guilty to the murder and rape of Zozo, whose lifeless body was discovered in September 2013.

    Judge Tshifiwa Maumela is quoted as saying that: “No one has been given the right to correct alcoholics. No one has been given the right to correct those who take too much salt or sugar. No one has been given the right to correct others when it comes to the right to love their own gender… You can’t interfere with how someone chooses to live.”

    To read the article titled, “Duduzile Zozo killer sentenced to 30 years in prison,” click here.

    The Citizen
  • NGO Takes GBV Fight to Rural Areas

    The Eastern Cape Childline office and Masimanyane Women's Support Centre are taking their programmes to rural areas as part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign.

    The organisations will launch their programme at Nxarhuni village, Eastern Cape, an area which was chosen for the launch as it has experienced a number of violent crimes against women in the past six months.

    Senior Social Worker at Childline, Nondumiso Buyana explains that: “We've also realised as Childline in the province that mostly in the rural areas there’s not many people that are working there, mostly it will be Department of Social Development and we thought it’s best that we also form partnership and assist these communities because most people…”

    To read the article titled, “Childline takes gender crime fight to rural areas,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Forum Helps to Report More Hate Crimes

    The Hate Crimes Working Group says since the introduction of its monitoring forum, more cases of hate crimes are being reported.
    The forum, which is a comprehensive way of gathering information about victims of hate-related crime, is of the view that such crimes target people on the basis of their gender, religion or culture and often include violence such as rape.
    Yolanda Mitchell, says about 90 cases have been reported thus far, adding that, “It doesn’t seem like 90 cases is a lot, but considering that it comes from five sources at this point, there is a lot of potential for us to get more cases with this continued training and awareness raising."
    To read the article titled, “Monitoring forum helps report more hate crimes,” click here.

    SABC News
  • Call to Scale Up Fight Against GBV

    Zambia’s local government and housing minister, Emmanuel Chenda, believes there is a need for concerted family and community-based activities to supplement government efforts in combating early marriages, teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence (GBV).
    Chenda is saddened by the increase in cases of early marriages, teenage pregnancies and GBV in that country.
    He states that, “This calls for us all to scale up efforts towards fighting early marriages, teenage pregnancies, GBV, alcohol and drug abuse through community and family-based activities,” adding that, “The fight against teenage pregnancies and early marriages would help mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS.”
    To read the article titled, “Govt bemoans rise in early marriages,” click here.


    Times of Zambia
  • Sexualised Violence in the National Debate

    Cross-Border Observations from India and South Africa

    In early 2013, two young women were brutally gang-raped and murdered in different parts of the world: Jyoti Singh Pandey, a 23-year-old from India and 17-year-old Anene Booysen in South Africa. Both cases received uncharacteristic attention but what were the dynamics and specific factors and circumstances that propelled them into national and international prominence and can unpacking this influence the development of enhanced strategies to tackling endemic violence against women?

    “Sexualised Violence in the National Debate: Cross-border observations from India and South Africa” is a joint project between the South Africa and the India offices of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. The project, which commenced in 2013, produced two comparative studies – one on South Africa co-authored by Joy Watson and Vivienne Lalu and the other on India authored by Urvashi Butalia. The studies analyse the political, media and community responses to the rape and murder of the two young girls in the context of perpetuating violence against women in both countries. The studies also assess to what extent the unprecedented attention to these two cases led to any tangible social transformation processes.

    What the comparative studies revealed is that although the cases were somewhat similar in nature, the social and political reactions to the rapes and murders of the young girls differed. In India the government’s response to the mass eruptions of social protest was to initially curtail it rather than to respond to what its citizens were calling for. In South Africa, while some marks of social protest were made across the country, it was politicians who took the centre stage. Almost as soon as news of Anene’s death hit the media, politicians descended onto the small town of Bredasdorp, using any opportunity as a forum for party politicking. Despite these initial problematic responses, some positive remedial measures did emerge. Although some concerns remain on the implementation of these measures what the responses to the rape and murders of these young girls proves is that the state can prioritise addressing violence against women particularly when media influence and/or just the right amount of public pressure is placed on it to do so. 

    There are however 'no quick-fix solutions' say the authors of the South Africa study, “strategic thought needs to be invested in the prevention of sexual violence. Otherwise, both private and public spaces will continue to be sites of potential danger for women and girls.”

    The studies can be downloaded by clicking on the above links. More media articles on this project can be found on the Heinrich Boell Foundation website.

    For more information or to request hard copies of the publication contact: Claudia Lopes, Tel: 021 461 6266, Email:

  • GBV Indicators Study for Western Cape

    The Gender Link’s Western Cape GBV Indicators Study provides the first comprehensive baseline data on violence against women in the province.

    The study shows that 39 percent of women have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime, and that the same proportion of men admit to perpetrating violence.

    It found that most of this violence takes place where all citizens should feel safest - in the home and in communities – and that the highest proportion of violence is the kind for which there is no category in police records - emotional, verbal and economic abuse.

    To read the article titled, “GBV Indicators Study - Western Cape Province, SA,” click here.

    All Africa
  • GBV Hinders Women’s Freedom - Chipatiso

    According to Linda Musariri Chipatiso, it seems incongruous that South Africans celebrate Women's Month, yet stories of conflict and gender-based violence (GBV) flood today's headlines.

    In her article titled ‘Gender Violence Still Hinders Women's Freedom’, Chipatiso argues that, “Whether it is the abduction of girls in Nigeria, the unending trial of Oscar Pistorius or the young woman raped and murdered last over the weekend because of her sexuality- the horrific immediacy of violence is all too apparent.”

    She states that the majority of cases go unreported, unnoticed and justice is not served, adding that it is also evident in conflict and post-conflict situations where rape is often used as a weapon of war.

    To read the article titled, “Gender Violence Still Hinders Women's Freedom,” click here.

    All Africa
  • Over 45 000 Women Raped in August

    At 12h25 on 20 August 2014, the number of rapes this month reached a staggering 45 402, according to Blow the Whistle.

    Blow the Whistle director, Mike Rowley, points out that, “In August 2014, statistically there’ll be a total of 74,400 rapes,” adding that, “Even though we fight this battle every day, August is the month we’ll make our biggest stand yet.”

    Blow the Whistle is an anti-rape initiative that works at empowering women and children by giving them their voices back. The initiative aims to give vulnerable women and children platforms to feel safe, by creating awareness of the crisis of rape in South Africa.

    To read the article titled, “More than 45000 South African women raped so far this month: Blow the Whistle,” click here.

    Times Live
  • FPD’s Gender-Based Violence Knock on Door Campaign - Our Stories

    The Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) Gender-Based Violence (GBV) management course proved to be a success in the community of Bayview, Durban.

    The Ubuntu community workers were impressed with the amount of information that became available to help them to do their jobs better.

    Bayview is a community where drug trafficking and substance abuse has caused a moral decay among many members of the area. People in this community struggle to access basic needs such as shelter, proper health care and education services, and GBV has taken over the community because people have been scared to neither talk nor report it. But lately; the women, men and children of this community have heard enough and they are been vocal about the abuse.

    During the GBV Management training, FPD head of clinical and educational training, Amor Gerber realised that the community workers needed counselling because they were emotional and very heated during the speak out session. “We can’t expect the Ubuntu community workers to help and deal with other people’s issues if they have not resolved their own issues, if they are still angry and they haven’t moved on,” said Amor Gerber.

    At the time of the speak out session, the Ubuntu community workers opened old wounds and shared their experiences, the following are some of their stories:

    Crystal: When I was a little girl my mother was always abused by my father because he was a drug addict. I used to always want to protect my mother from being beaten but my father was too powerful. My mother was the silent type but I couldn’t be silent, I had to get out there and tell whoever would listen to me but no one believed me because I was child. My father had the society fooled to believe that he was a Good Samaritan and we were liars. My mother was a proud Indian woman who was ashamed of moving back to her family and telling them what she was going through.

    “People always judge a victim for staying with an abuser, many people stay because that might be the only way keeping their children safe.” - Survivor

    Sweetie: My ex-husband used to abuse me and our children, he used to lock the doors and the gates then he would start hitting us with anything he could reach. The police would come and say that they don’t get involved in domestic issues and that there is nothing they can do and they would just leave. As soon as they leave it would happen again, it was an ongoing thing and there were times where my children would hide under the tables and behind the room divider due to the violence. He used to choke us and poke us; he once cracked my head on the floor.

    “Nobody knew what was going on in our house. I never screamed. I never told anybody. If the neighbours had to hear, I knew I would be pushed even more.” – Survivor

    Mariam: On my wedding day a lot of people told me that; “you are going into a new life, you need to endure”, when they told me to endure, I didn’t understand what they were referring to, until the day it started happening. I had a daughter outside of my marriage and unfortunately in this marriage I couldn’t conceive so I was being raped but I was not aware of it. I told myself that it was ordinary because we needed a child. I don’t worry about myself anymore, I worry about my children.

    Gayle: When I was 3 years old I was raped. He grabbed me and threw me on the bed. I was asthmatic and he stuffed a sock into my mouth and covered my face with a pillow. I was kicking and screaming to catch my breath but he lifted up my dress and he started raping me and I ended up in children’s hospital.

    “At times he was a very caring husband. And then without a reason, he would go into one of his moods. The things that I did right one day would trigger verbal and physical abuse the next day.” - Survivor

    Silence, obedience and misconceptions have destroyed our society; it is time that we all break the silence on violence that is happening in our homes and communities; and build a safer environment for the next generation.

    - Foundation for Professional Development.
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