Global Acknowledgement of Sonke’s Human Rights Work

Good news just in from the French Embassy. We were selected as one of six organisations globally to be distinguished by the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights.

It’s an enormous honour — and really nice to receive at the end of this incredibly busy 16 Days of Activism. It reflects the tremendously hard work done by everyone here at Sonke.

Some of the text from the French Ambassador to South Africa is included below:

“I am particularly pleased to inform you that the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights has decided to distinguish the work accomplished by Sonke Gender Justice. This special distinction has been awarded to six organisations worldwide, two of which are South African. This distinction has been granted in recognition of Sonke’s work on the ground and active involvement in supporting the advancement of Human Rights in South Africa especially with regards to combating violence against Women.”

This honour follows our recent acknowledgement by Philanthropedia as one of the leading organisations worldwide working to end violence against women. In a survey conducted by Philantropia and GuideStar, and filled out by 77 international experts from research, civil society and the donor world, Sonke was chosen as one of the best regarded organisations globally working to end violence against women. Sonke was ranked behind the Global Fund for Women and Raising Voices and alongside the IRC, Promundo, V-Day and Equality Now. It’s an enormous honour for us to be compared with much older and more established organisations and its testimony to how hard everyone has worked over the last few years. See attached table.

Recently, DFID Minister Stephen O’Brien also praised Sonke’s One Man Can Campaign at the launch of Plan UK’s State of the World’s Girls report, looking at the inclusion of boys and men in gender work. Read the full story at: DFID Minister praises Sonke’s work in speech outlining UK governments development priorities.

“DFID has been a strong supporter of the ‘One Man Can’ Campaign in three provinces in South Africa. The programme runs workshops for boys and men to prevent domestic and sexual violence, reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS and promote both gender equality and social justice. And the result?

  • Over 2000 boys and men attended the workshops
  • 25% of them accessed Voluntary Counseling and Testing within a few weeks of attending the workshop
  • 50% reported having witnessed acts of gender-based violence in their communities following the workshops
  • 61% reported having increased their own use of condoms, and
  • More than 4 out of 5 participants reported having subsequently talked to friends and family about HIV and AIDS, gender and human rights.”