Terms of Reference

Rights, Action, Accountability Case Studies

Project overview

Throughout this five-year project, Sonke has consolidated and built on its innovative community mobilisation model to amplify the call for gender justice and accelerated action towards the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. The project aimed to increase the linkages between community education and activism, rights literacy, media advocacy and the use of the law to advance gender equality in Africa.

Project Expected Results

  • Impact: Contribution to the realisation of human rights and gender equality in South Africa.
  • Outcome Area 1: Men and women, Community Action Team members (CATs), Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and partners have the capacity, commitment and skills to mobilise around, prevent and respond to GBV. 
  • Outcome Area 2: Increased accountability and action from local level duty bearers to respond to GBV.
  • Outcome Area 3: South Africa’s National government is held accountable to develop, review, and implement evidence-based strategies to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including engaging men and boys for gender equality and an end to GBV. 
  • Outcome Area 4: Sonke and partners are strengthened and can catalyse change for gender equality nationally, regionally, and globally. 

Consultancy description

The purpose of this consultancy is to compile a set of six written case studies that demonstrate meaningful examples of the ways in which project results were achieved across the project.The consultant will be expected to collect data for the case studies virtually, through online interviews with key interviewees. Sonke Gender Justice will provide contact information and the consultant will be expected to book and conduct online meetings with respondents. Sonke will provide logistical assistance where required in order to ensure access to internet for all respondents.

An added benefit would be the ability for the consultant to conduct interviews in isiXhosa.

In addition to the written case studies, Sonke would retain ownership of the full recordings,  transcripts and translations of all interviews.

Time schedule: 1 April 2022 to 2 May 2022

The estimated duration of the consultancy is 1 month, starting 1 April 2022 and ending 2 May 2022. The consultant is expected to produce a draft report by 22 April 2022 for review and feedback. A final report should be prepared by 2 May 2022. 

Budget: R30 000

How to apply

Should you wish to apply, please send a detailed CV, a short workplan, and a one page letter outlining your relevant experience to:

Nombulelo Mazwi                                                      
Monitoring and Evaluation Administrator
Email : Nombulelo@genderjustice.org.za
Phone: +27 (0)21 423 7088                                        

Project Background

Across much of the world, rigid gender norms and harmful perceptions of what it means to be a man or a woman encourage men to engage in high risk behaviours, condone violence against women, grant men the power to initiate and dictate the terms of sex, and make it difficult for women to protect themselves from either HIV or violence as well as to seek sexual and reproductive health rights and services. A growing body of research shows that these gender norms and unequal power dynamics not only contribute to GBV and alcohol and drug abuse, but also exacerbate the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS, and compromise both women’s and men’s access to and use of SRHR services.

South Africa has robust laws and policies in place that generally endorse gender equality and instruct government to proactively implement measures to achieve it. Highly regarded laws and policies have been put in place criminalising domestic and sexual violence and providing redress for survivors. However, many of the rights afforded to women in the national constitution and other frameworks remain inaccessible, paper-bound, and in some cases under threat, as is the case with the Traditional Courts Bill which threatens women’s rights in rural communities. Despite paper promises, South Africa still has staggering levels of domestic violence and rape. 

Sonke’s Multi-Level Approach to Gender Equality and Human Rights

Over the past decade, Sonke has been working to increase the linkages between community education and activism, rights literacy, media advocacy and the use of the law to advance gender equality in South Africa. Across the country, Sonke is increasingly supporting local communities to demand justice and engage in community driven primary prevention in response to local incidents of gender-based violence (GBV), including rape, sexual harassment, and even femicide. Indeed, since its inception, Sonke has been committed to building and sustaining grassroots citizen activism and rights literacy to hold government accountable to its constitutional obligations in advancing gender equality, deepening women’s rights, guaranteeing physical integrity and the right to health, and ensuring all are equal before the law. 

Sonke’s primary strategy for achieving this vision of active and empowered local communities has been the development of community action teams, or CATs, which are led by the Community Education and Mobilisation (CEM) unit. Over the last decade, Sonke has established dozens of CATs in most South African provinces, including in rural, urban and semi-urban areas. Currently, Sonke has fifty active CATs working to advance gender justice at the local level. These include CATs in refugee communities in Cape Town and Johannesburg, with former prison inmates and their families in Cape Town, with rural communities in the Eastern Cape, and in our research study sites in Diepsloot, inner-city Johannesburg, and Gugulethu, where we have been conducting and publishing research on community mobilisation for many years. As CATs are volunteer run, and are affected by the socio-economic realities of unemployment and job-seeking, and by the on-the-ground realities of the local context, CAT structures fluctuate with respect to their engagement, commitment and sustainability. Sonke is committed to continually researching and documenting its own and its partners’ community mobilisation approaches in order to learn from and share successful practices, and integrate these practices into its own CAT model. 

To date, Sonke has chosen to pursue this vision of active and empowered local communities in the wake of several selected cases of domestic and GBV murders. These cases generate sufficient community outrage and media coverage and go to trial regularly enough to allow Sonke to work with local community groups to demand justice, address the root causes of systemic gendered violence, and generate national attention to the ongoing GBV state of emergency. Sonke has leveraged the visibility of these cases as a force for ongoing community based violence prevention actions, including community education to prevent men’s violence and to carry out primary violence prevention with schools, faith based organisations, traditional structures, the private sector and local government.

Sonke’s community education and mobilisation activities are supported and amplified by the organisation’s in-house experience with legal and policy advocacy, including strategic litigation; many years’ experience of content creation and media engagement; and our rigorous research, monitoring and evaluation strategies. Sonke’s Communications and Strategic Information Unit plays a complementary and vital role supporting the programmatic work. Sonke’s team of skilled journalists use print, photography, video and audio to document local activism and ensure that content created reaches the widest possible audience for maximum impact – through placement in mainstream, community and online media as well as through the regular Sonke newsletter, our website and social media channels and other distribution methods. This affirms the work of local community members, draws local and national attention to the alarming levels of GBV, and puts pressure on local duty bearers to take urgent action to address and prevent GBV. The unit also provides regular updates to CAT members across the country, promoting cross fertilisation of ideas and sharing stories of successful local activism to inspire, motivate and lend momentum to other CAT members working on similar issues in their communities. Similarly, Sonke’s RME Unit trains CAT members on how to conduct community audits, and regularly assesses and shares progress against goals and commitments.

While it is clear that working with men and boys to promote gender equity is crucial, Sonke has also, in recent years, increased its direct involvement in supporting women’s rights work with the recognition that sustaining pressure to achieve gender equality must situate the work on masculinities within feminist theory and praxis, including monitoring women’s access to justice at the community level and in working together with other women’s rights organisations to support the passage or implementation of laws, policies and agendas that empower women. Sonke’s work is informed by feminist theory and social movements, and we work closely with many national, regional and global women’s rights organisations to ensure that our work is aligned with feminist goals and priorities. Sonke will continue its work with men and boys, including with men that are often hard to engage – religious and traditional leaders – while bringing its considerable expertise and experience to policy matters related to women’s rights.

Project overview

Throughout this five-year project, Sonke has consolidated and built on its innovative community mobilisation model to amplify the call for gender justice and accelerated action towards the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. The project aimed to increase the linkages between community education and activism, rights literacy, media advocacy and the use of the law to advance gender equality in Africa.

The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the realisation of human rights and gender equality by building active and empowered communities that hold local and national government departments accountable for the implementation of legislation and policies aimed at preventing and responding to GBV and promoting gender equality. Sonke built on and refined its community education and mobilisation model by establishing and supporting new Community Action Teams (CATs) in the Eastern and Western Cape, and worked to share the overall experiences and learnings from this model with existing CATs and Sonke’s partners across the country, and the region. CATs and partners were supported with training in advocacy, activism, citizen journalism, leadership, GBV prevention, legal frameworks and their local justice systems to enable them to access justice in local cases of GBV, and engage in planning and policy processes at local and national level.   

Impact  from this project will be taken to scale by carefully evaluating, documenting and sharing the lessons – and especially the community mobilisation model and work with men and boys – across Sonke’s partners in South Africa, including other women’s rights, faith based and social justice organisations, as well as across Sonke’s global networks, through the many local and international convenings hosted by Sonke under other grant funding, which will provide a forum to extend the learnings from this project.

Expected Results

The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the realisation of human rights, gender equality and the prevention of GBV by building active and empowered local communities. It is envisioned that these communities hold the local and national government departments accountable for the implementation of legislation and policies aimed at preventing and responding to GBV and promoting gender equality. 

Key results are described below.

Impact: Contribution to the realisation of human rights and gender equality in South Africa.

The most important change will be the development of a model combining local action, media engagement, policy advocacy and legal support that can achieve stronger and more effective community action to prevent and address GBV in communities across Africa. Over time, this will lead to the development of fully funded national and local plans to address GBV, better implementation of existing laws and policies on GBV and decreased levels of domestic and sexual violence in South Africa. 

Outcome Area 1: Men and women, CATs, CBOs and partners have the capacity, commitment and skills to mobilise around, prevent and respond to GBV. 

Active and empowered communities are knowledgeable about their rights and the law, engaged around issues that are critical to their well-being, and well-structured with women and men sharing leadership for gender equality and an end to GBV. Sonke will support Community Action Teams (CATs) that will inspire women and men to work for gender justice and the prevention of GBV in their communities. By building community capacity to challenge harmful gender norms and by strengthening community activism and leadership, the project will promote gender norms transformation and will increase local government accountability. 

Outcome Area 2: Increased accountability and action from local level duty bearers to respond to GBV.

An enabling legal and policy environment is crucial to sustaining and scaling up GBV prevention and response interventions. To ensure that South Africa’s legal and policy environment advances gender equality and prevents GBV, local and national institutional accountability – from the state, the private sector, the media and other actors – is required. Communities will be educated and empowered to engage with local government on planning processes, to monitor cases of GBV in their communities and to identify opportunities to mobilise themselves and engage in advocacy efforts to access justice for victims of GBV. This will involve holding accountable local duty bearers such as police services, health clinics and relevant government departments. Communities will engage with the media to ensure stories are told accurately, sensitively and responsibly and to tell their own stories through citizen journalism in order to generate and sustain national public interest and pressure for justice for victims and survivors of GBV. These actions will be supported by in-house legal expertise which will guide communities through the criminal justice system, and ensure that adequate pressure is maintained during every aspect of the justice process. 

Outcome Area 3: South Africa’s National government is held accountable to develop, review, and implement evidence-based strategies to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including engaging men and boys for gender equality and an end to GBV. 

Based on Sonke’s experiences and learnings in South Africa, and particularly as the Chair of the Task Team of the Stop Gender Violence Campaign for a National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence, Sonke will provide technical input on key pieces of draft legislation relating to gender equality and violence prevention, such as South Africa’s Traditional Courts Bill, the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, and the Prevention of Hate Crimes Bill. Oversight bodies such as South Africa’s Human Rights Commission and the Gender Equality Commission will be held accountable to their mandates through monitoring reports and media advocacy. This work will advance the SDGs, particularly SDG 3 on health and wellbeing, SDG 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment, SDG 10 on inequalities, and SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions, including violence prevention.

Outcome Area 4: Sonke and partners are strengthened and can catalyse change for gender equality nationally, regionally, and globally. 

The consolidation and strengthened focus on the linkages between the multiple components of Sonke’s community response model will yield increased evidence on the impact and sustainability of Sonke’s socio-ecological approach to GBV prevention and response. Throughout the project period, Sonke will focus on identifying, documenting and sharing the lessons and promising practices, and produce a range of tools to allow these to be used for local advocacy and capacity building, including case studies, short videos and other multi-media tools. This evidence will be used to raise public awareness of pressing GBV prevention and response issues, and facilitate dialogue and discussion in communities across South Africa and further afield through publications, opinion pieces and reports. 

The project used a combination of lobbying, popular mobilising, media, research, advocacy, and policy tactics to contribute to the achievement of its stated outcomes. The main activities implemented under the project to achieve these outcomes includes capacity building and mentoring of CATs and partners in advocacy, activism, citizen journalism, leadership, GBV prevention, legal frameworks and their local justice systems to enable them to access justice in local cases of GBV and engage in planning and policy processes at national and local government levels. 

The full results framework and description of activities can be made available upon request.

Duration

1 Month

Budget

R30 000

Closing Date

1 Apr 22

Start Date

1 Apr 22