Work at Sonke

Sonke Legal Fellow

About Sonke

With offices in Gauteng, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga in South Africa and Kampala, Uganda, Sonke works globally, and especially across Africa, to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS. In this way the organisation contributes to the development of societies in which men, women, youth and children can enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of just and democratic societies.

About this position

Sonke Gender Justice seeks to appoint a Policy Development and Advocacy Fellow to be based in Cape Town or Johannesburg, South Africa.

Sonke is seeking a Policy Development and Advocacy Fellow for a period of 6 months, to commence from 1 July until 31 December 2020. The Policy Development & Advocacy Fellow is responsible for carrying out activities housed within Sonke’s Policy, Development and Advocacy Unit (PDA). The incumbent will be supervised by the PDA Unit Manager. They will also work closely with and support the PDA staff, using their legal skills to develop and support Sonke’s policy, advocacy and research work, while supporting the Community Education & Mobilisation Unit, in particular, with case monitoring and legal support. It will require the running of at least one advocacy campaign, while supporting a number of smaller projects simultaneously.

Key Functions:

  1. Provide support to Sonke’s local government and case monitoring work:
    1. The Fellow’s work will principally be focused on implementing deliverables under Sonke’s grants with IrishAid and NORAD that are executed in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape.
    2. Undergo activities which will increase accountability and action from local level duty bearers in project countries to respond to gender-based violence; and creating an enabling legal and policy environment is crucial to sustaining and scaling up GBV prevention and response interventions.
    3. Educate and empower communities 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.
    4. Assist communities in accessing justice and providing legal advice and guidance where appropriate.
    5. Hold local duty bearers such as police services, health clinics and relevant government departments accountable.
    6. Submit relevant complaints and cases to appropriate authorities and oversight bodies and follow these up diligently.
    7. Support 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.
    8. Assist in the field-testing of training material on relevant content and strategies at all Sonke offices, when the need arises.
    9. Provide technical input on key pieces of draft legislation relating to gender equality and violence prevention, as these arise at national and provincial-level, and make appropriate submissions where required.
  2. Conduct research, support and conduct legal advocacy, including monitoring law, policy and court judgments.
  3. Share key news and legal articles of relevance in a daily bulletin to the PDA unit to remain informed of trends and developments.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • A law degree (LL.B. or equivalent).
  • An LLM degree with focus on subjects relating to gender, health and human rights is preferred but not essential.
  • 1-2 years of related experience in a related area.
  • Familiarity with existing South African, regional and international laws and policies related to gender-based violence, HIV and AIDS.
  • Demonstrated experience developing and implementing trainings and workshops for diverse groups.
  • Familiarity with the functions and duties of relevant Chapter 9 institutions, relevant government departments and oversight bodies.
  • Familiarity with strategies and programmes aimed at gender-based violence, including responses and prevention.
  • Fluency in two South African languages.
  • Willingness to engage with media as required.

Competencies and Skills required

  • Ability to interact with Sonke staff at all levels, and communicate clearly and concisely with colleagues.
  • Strong research, writing and analytical skills – particularly in the legal sector.
  • Proposal and report writing skills.
  • Drafting of press releases and social media posts – often under tight timeframes.
  • Ability to make presentations.
  • Ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines and work self-sufficiently with some guidance.
  • Ability to prepare and give trainings and presentations.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Willingness to travel.

Personal qualities required

  • Confident, assertive communicator who can work comfortably with diverse groups of people, across all levels and various forms of media.
  • Emotional intelligence.
  • Attention to detail and displays a high level of integrity.
  • Able to prioritise work and manage deadlines.
  • Innovative and creative, able to see new opportunities.
  • Planning and time management – meets deadlines.
  • Reflective, open to learning and to self-care.
  • IT proficiency.


Johannesburg or Cape Town


R27K pm

Closing Date

5 June 2020