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GBV: Taking a stand

As the pandemic of gender-based violence continues, thousands of individuals are working tirelessly, fighting for change. In honour of these dedicated activists, we highlight some of the many organisations working to improve the safety and rights of women and children in South Africa.

The Shukumisa Coalition

It comprises more than 75 organisations across South Africa including NGOs, research institutions, law and policy organisations and community-based organisations. Together, they ensure the implementation of the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act (Sexual Offences Act), that the South African Government honours its obligation to put the right measures in place to address sexual violence and that these are equitable across the entire country.

Masimanyane Women’s Rights International

It’s an advocacy and empowerment organisation that works with local, national and global partners to strengthen women’s rights, reduce HIV/Aids and eradicate violence against women. It evolved from the Masimanyane Women’s Support Centre, which addresses the critical issue of violence against women and now also participates in research, documentation and advocacy. It has 14 offices in the Eastern Cape, with a presence in the region’s two largest magistrates’ courts, four police stations and a clinic.

Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development

The Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development is a non-profit, non- governmental organisation opposed to all forms of oppression, exploitation and violence against women. Located in Lenasia, Joburg, Nisaa focuses on the prevention of gender-based violence and empowering women who’ve been abused by their partners. It provides counselling and shelter services, awareness and advocacy, and training and development for local, national, regional and international partnerships.

Sonke Gender Justice

Sonke Gender Justice is a nonpartisan, non-profit organisation, established in 2006. Today, Sonke has a growing presence on the African continent and plays an active role internationally. Sonke works to create the change necessary for men, women, young people and children to enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships that

contribute to the development of just and democratic societies. It pursues that goal across Southern Africa by using a human rights framework to build the capacity of government, civil society organisations and citizens to achieve gender equality, prevent gender-based violence and reduce the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS.

People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA)

POWA started by providing referral services and shelter to women experiencing domestic violence. Then in 2009, it created a shelter for abused women and pioneered transitional housing for women in Gauteng. Its direct service-delivery component forms the basis of and informs all advocacy interventions at local, national and regional levels. Today, POWA provides shelters, counselling and legal advice for survivors of gender-based violence. It also conducts community outreach, media awareness, advocacy, training and development, and contributes to feminist research.

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