Sonke’s Social and Structural Drivers (SSD) Portfolio addresses the social and structural drivers of inequality and ill-health to better address the deep linkages between gender inequalities and violence, poverty and economic inequalities, racism, xenophobia, harmful religious and cultural practices, and other socioeconomic factors.
Given that faith communities are catalysts in shaping social norms, it is vital that Sonke’s interventions and programmes integrate this target group to address GBV from a faith perspective. Sonke’s work with religious and traditional communities has gained significant momentum in the past four years. Sonke serves in the leadership of two global initiatives to mobilise faith communities for gender justice – the We Will Speak Out campaign and the Side by Side for Gender Justice campaign. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) East and Southern African Regional Office (ESARO) recognised Sonke as a key player in its work with faith communities, and consistently calls on Sonke’s expertise for capacity-building and training purposes. Additionally, Sonke has conducted a series of training and/or discussion sessions with religious leaders, the media and faith communities throughout the region. Traditional leaders, as with religious leaders, play a significant role in influencing cultural and social norms, particularly in South Africa, where they continue to hold significant influence and power under the current Government and a dual legal system.