South Africa has one of the world’s most progressive constitutions, which includes a justiciable Bill of Rights. However, our country is also home to some of the world’s highest rates of violence. Sexual violence, including domestic abuse, rape, assault and murder, are far too common. Similarly, there are a vast number of human-rights violations daily against marginalised groups such as prisoners, sex workers and migrants, LGBTIQ-identified people, women and children. What’sparticularly horrifying is that some of these cases are perpetrated by police law enforcement or community leaders. Violence in South Africa is systemic and normalised.

What we do

Sonke’s Policy Development and Advocacy (PDA) Unit consists of policy analysts, researchers and lawyers who base their practice in activism and disrupting the status quo. They – and Sonke – advocate for progressive legislation and policy on gender equalityGBV, sexual and reproductive health and rights (including HIV and AIDS) to empower and protect women, children and vulnerable men, and to cultivate positive masculinities. They offer technical expertise to national processes of drafting legislation and policies; use the courts to hold public figures accountable for their actions; support communities to participate in public advocacy action; and lobby Government institutions to uphold the rights of all, but in particular marginalised groups.