‘The moment I became an activist’
By
  • Karen Robertson
  • Micheline Minani Muzaneza Bagona
7 October 2016

A Senior Trainer for Sonke’s Refugee Health and Rights Portfolio, Micheline Minani Muzaneza reveals the harrowing moment she decided to dedicate her life to pursuing social justice.

‘Untainted by the empowerment of education’: The tragedy of child brides
By
  • Josephine Comfort Mukwendi
15 June 2018

Youth activist, Josephine Mukwendi, shares her experiences of forced and early marriage and its impact on young women and girls.

“Every year, I try to learn something new that will help me in my work.”
By
  • Josephine Comfort Mukwendi
8 December 2017

Festus Kisa describes his experiences as an LGBTI activist attending the 2016 MenEngage Africa Training Initiative.

“So we are ATM fathers”: A study of absent fathers in Johannesburg
By
  • Mazembo Mavungu
  • Hayley Thomson-de Boor
26 September 2013

The Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) and Sonke Gender Justice set out to speak to fathers who are not living with their children, have little contact with them and/or seldom provide them with money. The research project did not seek to pr …

“We all have the potential to be refugees”
By
  • Emery Jenson
20 June 2017

World Refugee Day is an important time to remember the challenges that refugees in South Africa face. But it is also a time to reflect on the work being done to facilitate social cohesion, creating opportunities for refugees and South Africans to share, laugh, listen – and ultimately, to live together.

“All we were guilty of was walking home”
By
  • Gadeeja Abbas
8 March 2017

In the wake of the wave of xenophobic violence NGO Sonke Gender Justice tells the story of Lionnel Drench who fled the conflict in Congo Brazzaville.

“Can’t Just Fold Your Arms”: A documentary on Sonke’s work to mobilise men for gender justice
By
Staff Writer
1 July 2011

By William Nessen Can’t Just Fold Your Arms is an inspiring story of moral commitment, a striking portrait of the country today, and a necessary warts-and-all look at the reality of ‘engaging’ men for women’s rights and gender transformation.  The film …

“I just feel the scar. I know that it is a lifetime scar.”
By
  • Gadeeja Abbas
25 August 2017

A young girl is forced to undergo FGM before she’s married to an older man, another succumbs to peer pressure and bleeds for days after the brutal ritual.

“The mine has finished him and he can die anytime”
By
  • Patrick Godana
21 October 2016

Patrick Godana writes on the terrible toll of silicosis on miners’ families.

#MiningIndaba: Why the real mining investors won’t be in Cape Town this week
By
  • Thabang Pooe
8 February 2017

The most important people in mining will not be among the movers and shakers at the high-profile event this week.

10 Reasons Why Sonke Supports the Decriminalisation of Sex Work in South Africa
By
  • Katy Hindle
26 September 2013

Earlier this year, the Commission for Gender Equality (“CGE”) came out in support of the decriminalization of sex work. Sonke staff was thrilled with this development because the CGE is an important institution. Their voice amplifies those of many othe …

16 days: To end the violence we need to break the culture of silence
By
  • We mourn the loss of our colleague Khopotso Bodibe
4 December 2018

If there is one important lesson that we have learned from our campaigns over the years, it is that NOT speaking up against GBV is not an option.

8 Common myths about corporal punishment in South Africa
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
27 January 2016

Wessel van den Berg, Sonke’s Child Rights and Positive Parenting portfolio manager, debunks some pervasive myths about corporal punishment.

A new kind of fatherhood can prevent violence
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
9 December 2014

On a new kind of fatherhood that has gender equality and a good relationship between the parents as cornerstones.

A small victory in the fight for the protection of prisoners’ rights
By
  • Zia Wasserman
19 September 2019

On September 5, the Western Cape High Court ruled that South Africa’s national prison oversight body, the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) lacked the requisite independence to adequately protect prisoners’ rights. Many people ques …

Accountability is key in bringing an end to violence against women
By
  • Bafana Khumalo
2 October 2017

We urgently need to employ the multiple strategies of evidence, action and accountability, writes Bafana Khumalo.

Accountability to women and girls of SA: enough of male bonding indabas!
By
  • Sonke Gender Justice
26 November 2019

I don’t want to be protected by men; I want to live in a world where I don’t need to be protected by anyone. This statement, made by a women’s rights activist, sums up much of the problem with the current increased momentum of work with men to reduce g …

Active participation is key in advancing human rights work
By
Staff Writer
5 July 2011

Tapiwa Manyati, one of Sonke’s young activists, recently visited London to participate in the Active Participation conference hosted by Amnesty International where he shared his experiences about using digital stories as a mechanism for including the a …

Advancing the WPS Agenda In Africa Through Knowledge Sharing
By
Staff Writer
2 December 2021

Over the course of two weeks in September and October, WILPF co-convened the 2021 MenEngage Africa Training Institute (MATI) in partnership with MenEngage Africa, Sonke Gender Justice, and the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa Uni …

Africa’s children deserve justice and protection
By
  • Jude Thaddeus Njikem
11 June 2020

Every child has a right to education, best attainable standards of health, and protection from abuse, torture and labour which interfere with the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral, or social development. However, Covid-19 has had an adverse ef …

Alcohol abuse is linked to gender-based violence, so why are increased alcohol prices not in the Liquor Amendment Bill?
By
  • Zia Wasserman
19 December 2016

While it is important to acknowledge the very real and complex issues around the purchase and consumption of liquor, it is crucial to note the significant harms that are related to alcohol abuse.

Alcohol: the deadly accelerant
By
  • Maurice Smithers
  • Namuma Mulindi
18 February 2022

It’s a month-and-a-half into 2022 in South Africa, and the old aphorism “the definition of madness is doing the same thing the same way while expecting different results” comes to mind. The scourge of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) is ongoin …

All fathers and adoptive parents need paid parental leave
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
7 October 2016

Getting parents more involved in childcare is good for a child’s health and prospects in life. It’s also good for women. South Africa needs to get with the programme writes Wessel van den Bergh.

An alternative to FGM at naming ceremonies in Igbo land
By
Staff Writer
6 March 2019

In Igbo land, FGM is usually carried out to coincide with the child’s naming ceremony, which is a festive event with gifts and refreshments. In Igbo culture, the naming ceremony comes up almost immediately after the birth of the child. It is normally d …

An emotional man is a real man
By
  • Mbuyiselo Botha
31 January 2016

Discussing the potential dangers of American and South African societies’ deeply ingrained ideas of masculinity.

An open apology to sex workers in South Africa
By
  • Marlise Richter
29 May 2017

I am writing to you now that my fingers can type again after feeling numb with disbelief at the South African Law Reform Commission’s recommendations released just before the weekend.

Anything can happen in South Africa: Migrant and refugee women’s perceptions of safety
By
  • Kaisa Huhtela
26 October 2012

How do anti-foreign sentiments affect female migrants’ and refugees’ perceptions of safety? Initial findings of a study that set out to answer this question found that female migrants and refugees in Cape Town feel unsafe not only because of pervasive …

As long as discrimination barriers exist Workers’ Day can’t be celebrated
By
  • Mpiwa Mangwiro
30 April 2018

It is time to respect women’s agency about their career growth and their need to self actualise, and create an enabling environment to do so.

Bafana Khumalo & Rumbie Elizabeth Chidoori: Lack of GBV interventions are costing women’s lives
By
  • Rumbie Elizabeth Chidoori
  • Bafana Khumalo
30 August 2021

The National Strategic Plan is a little too late for Uyinene, Nosicelo, the little girl in Soshanguve, the thousands of teenagers who find themselves pregnant and the many thousands of other womxn and girls who continue to face violence and discrimination on a daily basis without access to appropriate remedies, and without protection and equal benefit of the law, writes Sonke Gender Justice’s Bafana Khumalo and Rumbie Elizabeth Chidoori.

Beyond rhetoric to action: Gender equality needs solid laws and policies
By
  • Mpiwa Mangwiro
22 March 2018

Commitments toward gender equality and women’s rights need to move from rhetoric to action.

Black rural women: Carrying the burden of the gold mining industry’s neglect
By
Staff Writer
12 August 2015

Sonke conducts research in the Eastern Cape on how caring for sick spouses can be detrimental to women’s development.

Body autonomy part of human right
By
  • Marlise Richter
18 March 2018

A global gag order on abortion information has far-reaching effects on women’s health and rights, writes Marlise Ritchter.

Celebrate Global Female Condom Day
By
Staff Writer
16 September 2014

Testimony to the female condom as a tool of both female empowerment and sexual stimulation.

Champion of Fatherhood
By
Staff Writer
27 August 2014

The importance of Hendri Terblanche’s petition to provide new fathers with ten days of paid paternity leave.

Churches taking advantage of the poor must account
By
  • Mbuyiselo Botha
11 December 2015

Mbuyiselo Botha writes in the Sowetan on the worrying proliferation of churches that hide behind religion to exploit the poor.

Comprehensive sexuality education: Why it matters
By
  • Angelica Pino
1 November 2019

Limited, incomplete or incorrect knowledge and information related to sex, sexuality and sexual and reproductive health and rights among the youth contribute to gender-based violence, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, HIV, teenage preg …

Conversation between local government and Wallacedene residents
By
  • Victoria Smith
16 June 2019

“Women are being bullied by their husbands. Women are being raped, even when they are going to work. I think, the government must [invest in visible policing] and educate people about [these things]. They must arrest people who are [raping women],” sai …

Court case could force gold industry to pay out miners’ daughters and wives
By
  • Thabang Pooe
  • Dean Peacock
25 October 2016

A high court has ruled that compensation to women who have to take care of sick miners could ease the gendered harms imposed by the industry.

Court victory for transgender prisoners
By
  • Ohene Yaw Ampofo-Anti
30 September 2019

The Equality Court has ruled that a woman transgender inmate may express her gender identity while incarcerated in an all-male prison. The court ruled, on 23 September, that the inmate is allowed to wear her hair long; wear make-up; wear female clothin …

Dads step up for their kids through the lens of change
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
14 June 2018

Amid plans to help fathers be more involved in parenting, a photo exhibition helps drive the message home.

Death penalty debate is a cheap political trick
By
  • Clare Ballard
1 April 2019

Politicians are once again trying to use capital punishment to get votes.

Demanding Justice for Nomanesi Klawushe
By
  • Siphokazi Dyani
7 October 2016

Sonke’s Siphokhazi Dyani attends a march demanding action from the Delft police for the brutal murder in August of 38 year-old Nomenesi Klawushe. She wonders: will justice be served for the mother of three and other women like her?

Ending violence against women: the time is now, together
By
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
6 October 2017

Remarks by UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, for the inaugural Annual Sonke Lecture at Johannesburg.

Engaging men and boys for gender equality… What do women have to do with it?
By
  • Angelica Pino
17 May 2017

An insider’s feminist view on Sonke Gender Justice – Can a “men’s organisation” become an inclusive organisation implementing the strategy of engaging men and boys for gender equality?

Existing outside the binary
By
  • Demelza Bush
10 April 2015

Sonke’s Demelza Bush explores her own gender journey and unpacks the danger of societal constructions and the difficulties they create.

Female condoms – What have men got to do with it?
By
Staff Writer
17 September 2014

Important points regarding how the introduction of female condoms needs to be met with widespread attitude changes from men.

Forty-two boys perish at initiation schools – but silence
By
Staff Writer
27 August 2012

The figures of young boys dying at initiation schools are shocking. The death toll, as at July 11, was 42, in just three weeks. According to reports, this is nearly double last year’s figure of 26. Photo credit: The Guardian South Africa is now 18 year …

Freedom Park mourns victims of violence
By
Staff Writer
24 July 2012

It is the burning question that behaviour change advocates must face: who will ensure that the work we do is maintained and strengthened after the workshops, talks and events are over? Sonke’s answer to this question is the Community Action Teams, or C …

Gender and HIV and AIDS – The neglected issues in the local government elections
By
Staff Writer
24 June 2011

The local government elections have come and gone. Many promises, pledges and commitments were made. However, very few political parties made clear how they plan to address two major problems in South Africa: gender-based violence (GBV) and HIV and AID …

Gender inequality and violence against women continue to undermine our democracy
By
  • Karen Robertson
10 March 2019

Global, women-led movements are pushing back and showing that inequality, sexual abuse, harassment and GBV will no longer be tolerated in our society.

Gendered impact of water deprivation must be addressed
By
  • Ruben Wynne
  • Nabeelah Mia
8 March 2018

Access to water, or lack thereof, tends to disproportionately affects women. So why has this narrative been missing from discussions around the current water crisis?

Gold industry’s appeal in miners’ silicosis class action is shameful
By
  • Emily Nagisa Keehn
  • Dean Peacock
7 June 2016

Widows and children stand to inherit damage claims from the mining industry, but their decision to appeal doesn’t bode well.

Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill: the good, the bad – and the unspeakable
By
  • Zia Wasserman
10 March 2017

Re-analysing hate speech as a product of socialisation.

High cost of sanitary pads puts South African girls’ education at risk
By
  • David Snetselaar
15 March 2017

Many young women in SA cannot afford to buy sanitary pads and their schooling suffers as a result. Project Dignity, with the help of Sonke Gender Justice, is offering an alternative that will keep them comfortable, safe – and in school.

HIV has a woman’s face, and AIDS looks like a dying man
By
  • Sisonke Msimang
1 December 2015

Long-term impact on gender relations cannot be made without improving a whole range of sexual and reproductive health services.

HIV treatment: Where are the men?
By
Staff Writer
1 December 2015

Dean Peacock, Sonke’s executive director, writes in the Mail & Guardian on the importance of ending needless AIDS-related deaths.

Holding local government accountable one CAT at a time
By
  • Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane
17 May 2019

As part of Sonke’s work on holding local government accountable, a group of Community Action Team (CAT) members visited Parliament for the first time. On the day the Traditional Courts Bill (TCB) was considered for a vote by the National Assembly on 12 …

Home Affairs, the Rule of Law and all that jazz
By
  • Marlise Richter
4 April 2018

The Department of Home Affairs has missed its court-ordered deadline to re-open the Cape Town Refugee Reception Office, but civil society has vowed to ensure that the fight to reopen the centre will continue.

How do we prevent gender-based violence in times of rising conservatism?
By
Staff Writer
12 March 2019

The world is going through a period of increasing conservatism. There is a tendency to turn away from universal human rights, towards more dogmatic beliefs. The impact of this shift has disproportionate consequences for women, with limitations to their …

How do we prevent violence against women? 5 Prevention+ case studies show engaging men and boys is key
By
Staff Writer
25 July 2018

Five cases from Indonesia, Pakistan, Rwanda, Lebanon and Uganda, that illustrate the effectiveness of engaging men and boys.

How PEPFAR’s anti-prostitution pledge impedes sex worker health
By
  • Marlise Richter
13 December 2016

PEPFAR recipients document how the pledge limits sex workers’ access to health care and increases their vulnerability.

How Rwanda continues to heal, 24 years after the genocide
By
  • Mpiwa Mangwiro
9 April 2018

Relatives of genocide victims attend a commemoration ceremony at Gisozi Genocide Memorial Centre in Kigali, Rwanda.

How the South African justice system failed Nosipho Mandleleni
By
  • Nonhlanhla Skosana
  • Thabang Pooe
16 May 2017

Patrick Wisani’s sentencing to 20 years in prison is little consolation for the loss of the life of a young woman – and the protracted case has only served to highlight the failures of a system in protecting women against GBV in South Africa.

I circumcised twice – who cares?
By
Staff Writer
26 October 2012

My name is Sikhangele Mabulu. I was born in Centane at Theko Kona Village in Eastern Cape. I now live in Kraaifontein in Cape Town. I was begotten by Mxolisi Mabulu and Nokhusile Mabulu. My father died in 2009, he was begotten by Jongile Mabulu and No …

If male policymakers don’t understand gender, how can they pass policies to protect women?
By
  • Itumeleng Komanyane
31 May 2017

Komanyane attended the 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

If no child is to be left behind we must move from promises to action
By
  • Mpiwa Mangwiro
15 June 2018

Addressing structural and institutional inequalities is crucial in ensuring that no African child is left behind in enjoying their human rights and realising their full potential.

If the human cost won’t, will the financial cost make government commit to a comprehensive national plan to combat gender-based violence?
By
  • Czerina Patel
10 October 2014

A discussion of the government’s apathy towards gender-based violence in the face of staggering economic statistics.

Implementing CSW Resolution 60/2 on Women, the Girl Child and HIV
By
  • Dean Peacock
16 March 2018

Remarks prepared by Dean Peacock, Co-Executive Director, Sonke Gender Justice, advisory board member, Global Coalition on Women and AIDS. I’d like to thank the organisers of this event for the invitation. It’s an honour to speak on this important panel …

In South Africa, MenCare fills the gap between family and the workplace
By
  • Archana Ahlawat
1 July 2016

Counselling work done by MenCare to shift men’s attitudes away from harmful gendered stereotypes towards active participation in parenting.

In the fight for more police resources, Gugulethu takes back its streets
By
  • Marike Keller
12 December 2017

The distribution of police resources in poor versus rich areas is still a bitter aftermath of apartheid’s legacy and must be rectified if we are going to see a reduction in gender-based violence and move towards safer communities.

Inmates’ rights & sexual abuse in South Africa’s prisons
By
Staff Writer
24 July 2012

Sexual violence is one of the most pressing issues plaguing South African prisons. In a 2007 survey by the Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services, about half of all inmates admitted that sexual abuse occurs either “sometimes,” “often” or “very …

Interrogating Religion To Address Gender And Sexuality Discrimination
By
  • We mourn the loss of our colleague Khopotso Bodibe
8 June 2015

Members from various faiths gathered together at Sonke’s workshop to discuss how religion can contribute to gender-based violence.

It’s not only Oscar Pistorius receiving a verdict for killing his partner today – 1,000km away, another judgment
By
  • Czerina Patel
11 September 2014

Czerina Patel points out discrepancies in the media coverage of two cases of intimate femicide.

Join the movement to #StopSexualHarassment in all spaces!
By
Staff Writer
23 November 2018

We should address sexual harassment in all industries head on, and in so doing become active agents of change.

Justice for Sandiswa
By
  • Bongani Kana
9 April 2014

On December 10, 2013, Sandiswa Mhlawuli, a 27-year-old unmarried mother of two, was murdered. Several eye-witnesses say her ex-boyfriend Nkosinam Xabadiya (then 29-years-old) pulled her out of a stationary commuter van and stabbed her multiple times. M …

Justice is long overdue for the widows of South African mineworkers
By
  • Emily Nagisa Keehn
  • Dean Peacock
25 October 2016

It is vital the court of appeal upholds a ruling that makes South Africa’s gold mining industry accountable to women whose husbands died from silicosis.

Killing inmates softly: HIV treatment dysfunction in prisons
By
Staff Writer
6 November 2014

Sonke’s Policy and Development Advocacy Specialist discusses the dangers of inconsistently treating HIV positive inmates.

Kubi Kubi siyafa yi GBV
By
  • Marlise Richter
11 December 2014

Civil society organisations march to Parliament to demand government to draft and implement a robust plan on dealing with GBV.

Launch of the MenCare campaign in South Africa
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
4 November 2011

The South African MenCare campaign was launched in early August at the Nike Football for Hope Centre in Soweto. MenCare – A Global Fatherhood Campaign – is coordinated by Instituto Promundo, based in Rio de Janeiro and Washington DC, Sonke and the MenE …

Let us not be blind to the gendered impact of Covid-19
By
  • Mpiwa Mangwiro
8 April 2020

The Covid-19 coronavirus has caused a lot of concern and panic globally as the number of infections continue to rise. Social distancing have become the buzzwords, with citizens across the world being advised to stay away from social gatherings and publ …

Let’s End it Now Launch: Stopping Sexual Violence in Correctional Centres
By
Staff Writer
24 June 2011

On Friday, 13 May 2011, the Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI), the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and the Sonke Gender Justice co-sponsored a publication launch and roundtable discussion on the Prevention and Er …

LGBTQI… and S
By
Staff Writer
16 April 2012

In 1988, a teacher, Kevin Jennings, at a private school in Massachusetts, started a group to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) students and to connect supporters of inclusivity and broad sexual rights, whether straight, g …

Look beyond the 16 Days and hold leaders accountable
By
  • Nabeelah Mia
5 December 2017

Despite the submission of formal complaints from civil society, Parliament remains mute on calls for Mduduzi Manana to be dismissed.

MAGE – Sierra Leone meet to empower activists
By
  • Abu Bakarr Sulaiman Tarawally
27 April 2018

Men’s Association for Gender Equality (MAGE) commenced their introductory district entry meetings to engage community actors, stakeholders, government personnel and institutions.

Major setback to gold miners’ silicosis claims
By
  • Emily Nagisa Keehn
  • Dean Peacock
7 October 2016

Supreme Court of Appeal grants mining houses leave to appeal all aspects of the landmark judgement.

Making it easier for dads to raise their children
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
18 June 2017

What will it take to get dads more involved in childcare asks Wessel van den Berg on Fathers Day – as he draws hope from a landmark bill in the parliamentary pipeline.

Mamphela Ramphele takes on the Traditional Courts Bill
By
Staff Writer
16 April 2012

This is an abridged transcript of Mamphela Ramphele’s speech given at UCT in March 2012. I was born and bred in the rural areas; I come from Limpopo province. I was a political activist in the 1970s working in the Eastern Cape, and things are so bad th …

Many shades of fatherhood in SA
By
  • Tawanda Makusha
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
12 July 2018

It is time to get a clearer picture of how fatherhood actually occurs in the daily lives of children in SA and acknowledge what is working.

Men and Gender Equality: Between the Urgency and the Confusion
By
Staff Writer
4 November 2011

Dr Gary Barker’s Helen Joseph Memorial Lecture, University of Johannesburg – 10 August “In the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, there is a collection of manuscripts and folios written by and for midwives in 17th Century Elizabethan England …

Men need to take care of their health
By
  • Vusi Cebekhulu
29 July 2020

The month of June has come and gone – and I am left with some reflections. June is a month specially dedicated to educating men about the health risks they may face, how to prevent them, what symptoms to look out for, and where to get medical assistanc …

Men’s Low Use of HIV Services and High Mortality Rates
By
  • Hayley Thomson-de Boor
  • Dean Peacock
  • Bafana Khumalo
26 September 2013

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi draws attention to the need to increase men’s uptake of testing and treatment services – goals from the NSP we must ensure are met! In South Africa, and in fact across the world, men are chronically underrepresented in HIV services, …

MenEngage Nigeria marks Menstrual Hygiene Management Day
By
Staff Writer
10 June 2020

Every year on May 28, non-governmental organisations, governmental agencies and the private sector come together to celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day and to highlight the importance of good menstrual hygiene management. This year’s World Menstrual Hygien …

MenEngage Nigeria Trains Member Organisations
By
  • Sekinah Lawal
25 February 2020

Full of determination to promote gender equality, Men Engage Nigeria, MEN, has tasked men to end patriarchal spirits, in order to create an environment free of discrimination between boys/men and girls/women. This appeal was made recently in Lagos, at …

Migrant boys make themselves heard
By
Staff Writer
21 April 2010

Sonke has worked with migrant boys living in Musina, Limpopo to produce a series of storytelling posters highlighting pressing issues in their community. Using the PhotoVoice methodology, the project encourages boys to use photography and writings to d …

Mine Workers Affected By Silicosis And The Women Who Care For Them
By
  • Anele Yawa
  • Dean Peacock
6 March 2015

A historic lawsuit presents the best opportunity to date to end the impunity with which mining companies exploit workers.

Mogoeng Mogoeng: New ConCourt Follower
By
Staff Writer
4 November 2011

On September 3 and 4, Sonke attended the hearing of the Chief Justice nominee, Mogoeng Mogoeng, before the JSC. We danced, we tweeted, we got angry, we got on TV making shocked faces, and we spent at least ten hours of our lives with South Africa’s new …

More challenges, fewer choices: Rural women are still in survival mode
By
  • Mabel Sengendo Nabaggala
21 March 2018

Rural women and girls across Africa are more likely to be victims of harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage than their urban counterparts.

My Covid-19 odyssey
By
  • Anne Kagure Wahome
11 June 2020

“Please keep your voice down. I have explained to you already that she used all the money today.” “You will not tell me what to do in my house woman! How can she afford to think of luxurious things right now?” “She had no other choice. You have to unde …

My Dad Can…
By
Staff Writer
16 April 2012

… put a smile on my face everyday … cook nice food for me and play with me … play ball with me … make me laugh, hug me and hold me … take care of me … help me with homework and assignments … turn a bad day into a good day … give money t …

Nonhlanhla Skosana: “The moment I became an activist”
By
  • Nonhlanhla Skosana
14 December 2016

Nonhlanhla – Sonke’s CEM Unit manager – shares experiences from her youth that influenced her decision to become an activist.

Not yet Uhuru for Women
By
  • Mpiwa Mangwiro
24 April 2020

Workers’ Day provides an opportunity to celebrate, honour and appreciate the value of workers across the globe as well as to reflect on pertinent issues that affect them. However, as we celebrate Workers’ Day, it is imperative to assess the status of w …

On Being A Woman At Sonke
By
  • Sisonke Msimang
26 September 2013

I joined Sonke two months ago on a part-time basis. It was a big shift for me. I went from running a large grant-making operation working across ten countries to working in a similar environment – but not being the boss. It was a decision I chose for a …

On International Day of Happiness, Prevention+ Releases New Animated Video To Promote a Happier, Healthier, More Equal World
By
Staff Writer
19 March 2019

On International Day of Happiness, Sonke Gender Justice is pleased to share a new animated video, created through the Prevention+ program, which promotes gender-equal societies without violence, as well as happier and healthier relationships. Preventio …

One Man Can partners with community radio stations and local government
By
Staff Writer
5 July 2011

Community radio stations (CRSs) are local radio stations that are run by and serve their communities. For many South Africans, CRSs are vital media for accessing information and news, particularly about their local and surrounding areas. People in rura …

One Man Can’s First Clinic in Gugulethu: Our Pride
By
  • Bridget Mnyulwa
4 November 2011

Many studies show that men are under-represented in health services, including HIV services. Men get tested less than women. For instance, results from South Africa’s recent national HIV testing campaign reveal that men made up only 30% of the nearly 1 …

Our men and boys need help – and fast
By
  • Mbuyiselo Botha
  • Kopano Ratele
5 May 2015

How the violent trauma caused by the Apartheid system has manifested in violent anti-authoritarian behaviour in today’s young men.

Our world will never be equal without gender equality
By
  • Mpiwa Mangwiro
4 March 2020

On Sunday, we celebrate International Women’s Day under the theme “I am generation equality: Realising women’s Rights”, which is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijin …

Overcrowded jails deadly, inhumane
By
  • Czerina Patel
  • Clare Ballard
5 June 2015

How the overcrowded conditions of South Africa’s prisons contribute to the increased spread of disease and violence among prisoners.

Parental leave bill a step in the right direction
By
  • Jessika Ferrari
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
9 May 2016

Cheryllyn Dudley, an ACDP member of Parliament, has presented a Bill calling for paid paternity leave for new fathers.

Paternity leave and maintenance go hand in hand
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
  • Dean Peacock
25 July 2014

How state-recognised paternity leave would improve quality of life for the whole family.

Patriarchy must be defrocked
By
  • Mbuyiselo Botha
4 November 2014

How one small minority movement – the Roman Catholic Womenpriests – is overthrowing the entrenched patriarchy of the Catholic Church.

Paying attention to men’s use of HIV services critical to success of SA’s new 2012-2016 NSP
By
Staff Writer
22 November 2011

December 1, 2011 is an enormously significant date for all South Africans. On that day, World AIDS Day, the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) will launch the new and finalized 2012-2016 National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB, which has …

Penises against patriarchy!
By
  • Londi Gamedze
26 October 2012

In my capacity as a gender equality activist, I recently attended a conference titled Work/Force: masculinities in the South African media. Hosted by the Department of Visual Arts at Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town’s African Cin …

Positive Discipline and a ban on corporal punishment will help stop cycles of violence
By
  • Carol Bower
10 June 2014

On a daily basis, newspapers across the country tell story after story of the horrors perpetrated against children: from the parents of a seven-week-old baby inflicting upon their baby three broken ribs, a fractured knee and brain injuries, to a man ar …

Prison overcrowding: No more band-aid solutions
By
  • Ariane Nevin
13 March 2017

Ariane Nevin calls for further steps to be taken to mitigate the overcrowding of South Africa’s prisons.

Prisoners: South Africa’s forgotten population
By
  • Karen Robertson
7 October 2016

After serving 9 years of an 18-year sentence for armed robbery, Thulani Ndlovu has founded Zonk’izizwe Odds Development, an NGO fighting to get prisoners’ rights on the national agenda.

Promoting gender equality in HIV and GBV intervention research
By
  • Althea Anderson
14 March 2016

An overview of Sonke Gender Justice’s One Man Can programme being implemented in Bushbucksridge, Mpumalanga.

Protecting the rights of prisoners during the Covid-19 lockdown
By
  • Zia Wasserman
26 March 2020

n Sunday March 15, President Cyril Ramaphosa finally provided some guidance in relation to the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa. He mentioned several precautionary measures that would be implemented to curb the outbreak, including the imposition of a …

Public office bearers are custodians of the law. It is time for Manana to go
By
  • Mpiwa Mangwiro
31 May 2018

The most recent allegations of assault and intimidation against Mduduzi Manana indicate that not only is the cost of perpetrating violence against women clearly not high enough to deter men from continuing to perpetuate such crimes, but that Manana con …

Reaching a hard-to-reach community
By
Staff Writer
16 April 2012

I sat down with Micheline Muzaneza, a trainer on Sonke’s Refugee Health and Rights project, to discuss the team’s recent success in running a workshop with Somalians in Cape Town. Somalis are a hard-to-reach community, especially when it comes to issue …

Red Card Campaign is of Key Relevance
By
Staff Writer
29 March 2011

Sonke has just finalised an evaluation of the Red Card Campaign which was run between May and Dec 2010. The evaluation highlighted a number of internal and external challenges to the campaign, but generally backed up the campaign approach and materials …

Reeva Steenkamp; Sandiswa Who?
By
Staff Writer
9 October 2014

Mateenah Hunter points out that the Pistorius trial is an exception in justice delivery for female victims of violence.

Refugee brings love and beauty to Delft
By
  • Gadeeja Abbas
23 June 2018

One woman’s strength and passion bridges the cultural divisions around her.

Regional Policy Scan Highlights Important Gaps in NSPs
By
Staff Writer
29 March 2011

Over the last year, Sonke’s work globally but especially in Africa, through the MenEngage Alliance, has grown significantly, and we are working closely with many organisations in the region to engage men and boys on issues of gender and HIV. The policy …

Review of SODV Act?
By
  • Kwakha Indvodza
23 April 2019

Open letter to the Times of Swaziland written by MenEngage eSwatini member Kwakha Indvodza Sir, With the increasing media reports of individuals being arrested under the SODV Act, Kwakha Indvodza and partners note with increasing concern that instead o …

Rolling-out medical male circumcision: making it work for women and promoting gender equality
By
Staff Writer
24 June 2011

The increased availability of bio-medical HIV prevention approaches, like medical male circumcision (MMC), mark an important step towards reducing HIV infections. However, it is important that these methods not be divorced from the social contexts in w …

SA needs a concrete plan to stop gender violence
By
  • Marlise Richter
17 August 2017

“Not any of the protective psychological barriers that I usually put up to help me believe ‘It won’t happen to me’ worked this time around.”

SA’s National Strategic Plan: Female condom needs to play a bigger role
By
Staff Writer
25 November 2010

Since the beginning of the Aids epidemic, condoms have been the single most efficient available technology to reduce the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Condom use forms one of the three elements of the ABC strategy: Abst …

Sensationalising rape on TV is as dangerous as saying it doesn’t exist
By
  • Abigail Hatcher
  • Ncumisa Sopazi
  • Mzwakhe Khumalo
17 August 2018

Whether the controversial BBC documentary My Neighbour the Rapist was scripted or not, it nonetheless hurts us all because it plays on our worst fears about rape without ever addressing the real issues at hand.

Sex worker activist Zoe Black: “I feel safer on the streets than I do in my home”
By
  • Zia Wasserman
14 December 2016

Zoe Black, a Zimbabwean sex worker and activist living in Cape Town, shares her troubling experiences as a victim of crime.

Sexual harassment: We need to strengthen systems to hold ourselves accountable
By
  • Sonke Gender Justice
29 May 2018

Sonke grapples with the difficult questions that must still be answered if we are to stem sexual harassment in the workplace and reflects on our approach.

Sexual offences courts must be effective
By
  • Ohene Yaw Ampofo-Anti
  • Kayan Leung
8 October 2019

In the town of Tsomo in the Eastern Cape, a young girl and her family leave the magistrates’ court after yet another postponement. It’s the case of an alleged rape of a minor, who was 13 at the time, by her school principal. The case, which started in …

Shabangu spouts anti-feminist rhetoric, provides no roadmap to end gender-based violence
By
  • Nandi Msezane
  • Nondumiso Nsibande
  • Jabu Tugwana
12 November 2014

The feminist movement in South Africa takes a step backwards as ministers and officials pass patronising comments at anti-GBV campaign.

Shukumisa: Civil Society Pushes Improved Implementation of the Sexual Offences Act
By
Staff Writer
29 March 2011

Sonke has always believed strongly in the importance of civil society advocacy initiatives, and after extensive internal discussions we have decided to focus our advocacy efforts on supporting the Shukumisa Campaign to improve implementation of the Sex …

Silicosis case: thousands of women could lose out
By
Staff Writer
20 October 2016

Women’s work caring for sick miners is invisible – Tanya Charles writes for GroundUp.

Sisterhood sells out sex workers
By
  • Marlise Richter
20 November 2015

An opinion piece from the Mail & Guardian, written by policy development and advocacy specialist Marlise Richter.

Society is sending the wrong message by cheering for Mayweather
By
  • Czerina Patel
4 May 2015

Sonke laments the fact that Mayweather – a man known to be violent against women – is such a well-supported sportsman.

Something inside suddenly gave way
By
  • Bongani Kana
4 September 2014

A freelance writer describes the pain of reporting on the horrors of gender-based violence.

Sonke Gender Justice will march in the #TheTotalShutdown – will you?
By
Staff Writer
31 July 2018

Women and gender non-conforming people from Sonke Gender Justice, will be there, will you?

Sonke welcomes Julius Malema’s apology but…
By
Staff Writer
5 July 2011

In March 2010, the Equality Court found Julius Malema guilty of hate speech and discrimination in a case brought by Sonke and ordered Mr Malema to apologise for statements he had made regarding Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser (and rape survivors in general) …

Sonke works with IRC against GBV in Cote D’Ivoire
By
Staff Writer
27 November 2010

Subsequent to our preparing issue 7 of this newsletter, the Ivory Coast has again been destablised by civil unrest. The disagreement over election results has divided the country with devastating effects for the humanitarian work being done in the area …

Sonke’s work shapes historic silicosis judgement
By
  • John Stephens
  • Emily Nagisa Keehn
  • Dean Peacock
1 July 2016

Silicosis class action has positively impacted the rights of women and children who’ve depended upon, and cared for, sick miners.

South African judges should visit a prison once a year
By
  • Nabeelah Mia
  • Ariane Nevin
8 March 2018

As we commemorate Human Rights Month, here are eight reasons why every judicial officer should be visiting at least one South African prison a year.

Sparing the rod will not spoil the child
By
  • Mbuyiselo Botha
1 May 2015

An exploration of the psychological links between the rationalising of corporal punishment and the violence of Apartheid.

Spotlight on Sonke Partners: Meet Aloya Mahwa
By
  • Together for Girls
28 August 2017

In order to break the cycle, we need to engage men and boys. Nowhere is this more clear than in the DRC, where brutality and sexual violence have earned eastern DRC the title, ‘capital of rape.’

Stopping sexual abuse and the spread of HIV amongst inmates: Sonke works in 10 South African correctional centres
By
Staff Writer
16 April 2012

Sexual abuse and HIV plague detention facilities in South Africa. However, people in prison are already being punished by having their freedom taken away from them. They are not there to experience additional forms of punishment or harm. Sexual abuse a …

Struggling with the no-spanking rule? Here are some options
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
1 October 2019

Spend time with your child. That’s the answer that I have to the current frequently raised questions about the “alternatives to corporal punishment”. The constitutional court judgment that has cancelled the defence of reasonable chastisement and effect …

Survivors don’t owe you their story – changing the narrative of the ‘good survivor’
By
  • Marike Keller
29 October 2017

We cannot assume that someone who doesn’t speak up doesn’t have a story and isn’t a survivor.

Systemic Reforms to Address Sexual Abuse of Inmates Successfully Adopted
By
  • Emily Nagisa Keehn
26 September 2013

Conservative estimates suggest that 26.7% of inmates in South African prisons are HIV positive, well above the national average of 10%. Rape in prison is a common experience – half of all inmates surveyed by the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional S …

Taxis open their doors to OMC
By
Staff Writer
13 July 2011

It is widely accepted that taxi drivers and rank marshals in many South African communities – who are mostly men – don’t have the best reputation when it comes to dignified treatment of women. They are, to some, notorious for sexual harassment and enga …

The ‘Bantustan Bills’ remain disastrously flawed
By
  • Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane
5 June 2019

Today (June 5), South Africans from all corners of this country will march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria against the signing into law of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill and the Traditional Courts Bill. The proposed laws are viewed by …

The Alliance for Rural Democracy: Sonke and partners rally against the Traditional Courts Bill
By
Staff Writer
24 July 2012

Sonke is an active member of a new and important civil society initiative: the Alliance for Rural Democracy. The Alliance’s chief goal is to advocate against the Traditional Courts Bill, a Bill set to severely limit the rights of rural people to seek l …

The biggest threat to South Africa’s economy that the Zuma administration doesn’t want to deal with
By
  • Mbuyiselo Botha
  • Katie Bollbach
8 October 2014

An outline of how gender-based violence damages the national economy, and why the Zuma administration doesn’t act against it.

The City He Left Behind
By
  • Bongani Kana
24 March 2014

The port city of Merca lies in the south of Somalia and sits between the Lower Shabelle River and the Indian Ocean. It’s home to approximately 230 000 inhabitants, but for 29-year-old human rights activist, Abdillahi Ahmed Mohamed, Merca will always be …

The dad who was really there
By
Staff Writer
18 November 2014

One girl’s reflections on the loss of her loving father vis-a-vis the typical idea of fatherhood held by society.

The Day of the African Child in a pandemic era
By
Staff Writer
11 June 2020

“Don’t forget to wear a mask as you leave the house.” This is a daily reminder to a majority of children and youth as they are sent on errands or as they undertake outdoor activities. In a world that is constantly changing, this year stands out in a lo …

The death penalty won’t end gender-based violence
By
  • Detention Justice Forum
13 September 2019

South Africa is facing a national crisis: horrific incidents of gender-based violence and xenophobia occur in our homes and on the streets, leading to collective expressions of outrage, an overwhelming sense of injustice, and fear. Such emotions lead t …

The Gender-Based Violence Summit is over, now it’s time for action
By
  • Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane
  • Kayan Leung
25 November 2018

It is essential that the outcomes of the Summit and Declaration are shared far and wide to those facing the brunt of GBV, particularly in rural communities.

The Gift of Fatherhood
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
13 June 2014

More than half of the children growing up in South Africa do so without a father present in the home. A confluence of history, poverty and harmful ideas about manhood has led to more and more men becoming absent in the lives of their children. In 2012, …

The importance of working with men and boys to achieve gender equality
By
  • Patrick Godana
8 December 2017

Patrick Godana was awarded this year’s Golden Key Award from the Golden Key International Honour Society. Read his speech from the event here.

The prison legacy of Dudley Lee
By
  • Zia Wasserman
21 May 2019

Tuesday, 21 May, marks the day that Dudley Lee died, five years ago. Lee’s name is not known to most South Africans – but it should be. He spent over four years in Pollsmoor Remand prison (1999-2004), charged with various financial crimes, awaiting tri …

The silent screams of xenophobia
By
  • Marike Keller
5 August 2015

Sonke intern Marike Keller laments on society’s gradual desensitisation to the horrors of xenophobia.

The State of the Nation Address that President Zuma should have given
By
  • Marike Keller
16 February 2017

Imagine if SONA actually was meaningful? By Marike Keller, Sonke Gender Justice.

The words we use do matter
By
  • Ariane Nevin
25 August 2017

Ariane Nevin explores the subtle ways in which societal oppression is conveyed through language.

The world’s development requires youth engagement
By
  • Somtochukwu Ugwu
7 August 2020

Youth are by nature creative, innovative, energetic and vibrant. It is these traits that allow youth to design and formulate various ideas and projects globally. These ideas and projects when designed correctly are usually geared towards tackling vario …

Twists and turns in Traditional Courts Bill proceedings
By
Staff Writer
1 November 2012

The Traditional Courts Bill is a hotly contested piece of draft legislation that Sonke and its partners in the Alliance for Rural Democracy view as a threat to many of the values and principles enshrined in the South African Constitution – especially t …

Violence Against Women: Men Must Protect Women’s Rights – AFFYD
By
  • Yakubu Salisu
23 February 2020

The executive director, Africa Focus for Youths’ Development, Mr. Emmanuel Gabari, has said that, to have a balanced society free of gender violence, the men folk must begin to accord their female counterparts necessary respects and begin to see them a …

Violence is less likely in homes where fathers share chores equally
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
17 June 2015

Findings from the State of the World’s Fathers Report illustrate how inequality in the home creates a violent vicious cycle.

Violence prevention advocacy gains momentum
By
  • Ilze Smit
4 October 2017

One in three women is bound to experience violence at least once in her lifetime. A statistic that is so overwhelming that we – as a collective – are committed to changing.

Violence raises the urgent need for more health services
By
  • Angelica Pino
15 March 2019

Outlining the devastating effects GBV has on the emotional, physical and mental health of people and on the economy and health systems.

We need more male feminists and action. Not less.
By
  • Marlise Richter
6 December 2016

Feminists around the world have mixed reactions to Bono’s “Women of the Year” award, presented to him by Glamour Magazine.

What exactly is a ‘prostitution ring’ and why do we need the army to deal with it?
By
  • Marlise Richter
25 May 2015

Sonke’s Marlise Richter warns against the stigmatising language government is using and its targeting of South Africa’s most marginalised groups.

What Role Do Men Play in the Gender Equality Fight?
By
  • Gayle Jo Carter
15 January 2019

Dean Peacock shares his story with Aspire and offers some advice on what men can do to promote gender equality and human rights.

What sex workers and clients really want you to know about the business of sex
By
  • Ruvi Tenga
  • Zia Wasserman
19 September 2017

Making sex work safer can lead to less HIV infections and gender-based violence, studies have shown.

What the death of two men teaches us about our blind spot in the AIDS response
By
  • Dean Peacock
3 December 2015

HIV services are not geared towards men even though they make up two-thirds of the HIV-related deaths globally.

When access to sexual health education and services is a matter of life or death
By
  • Angelica Pino
6 July 2018

Sonke’s Director of Programmes, Angelica Pino, says we need to have a frank discussion about how access to sexual and reproductive health services is critical for the health and development of women and young girls.

When locking them up and throwing the key away is the easy answer… but should not be the only one
By
Staff Writer
24 June 2011

After years of deliberation, the Umlazi Regional Court has passed judgement in the Umlazi T section case that caused outrage in the country few years ago. In 2007 Zandile Mpanza was assaulted and made to walk naked in public in Umlazi’s T section for d …

Where are our leaders in the fight for gender justice?
By
  • Patrick Godana
7 October 2016

Sonke’s Patrick Godana how many more people need to be violated, assaulted and murdered before our government takes the scourge of gender-based violence seriously.

Where do men stand in all this?: Sexual Violence in Conflict
By
Staff Writer
16 April 2012

This article was first published on Women Under Siege’s website: www.womenundersiegeproject.org. Republished here with kind permission from the author. Let’s blame men. Many of us do – many women and even men blame men for the mass rape of women in war …

Why can’t our society just let boys be boys anymore?
By
  • Mbuyiselo Botha
4 April 2015

How young boys are often expected to be leaders and breadwinners, when they are not the men of the house.

Why does HIV kill more men than women?
By
  • Jonathan Hopkins
  • Dean Peacock
14 August 2017

In 2016, 60% of women of 15 years or older living with HIV were on treatment. Less than half their male peers could say the same.

Why fathers (and mothers) need paternity leave in South Africa
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
20 June 2016

Results from the 2015 General Household Survey have revealed both positive and negative trends affecting South African children.

Why is HIV prevention among young women and girls not working? We have forgotten the men
By
  • Gadeeja Abbas
  • Jonathan Hopkins
3 December 2017

We are not going to deal with the issues of gender-based violence if we leave the boys behind. This is relevant when it comes to accessing health services and challenging norms.

Why our judges need to stop sending people to prison
By
  • Nabeelah Mia
7 December 2017

Nabeelah Mia explores the potential benefits that alternatives to imprisonment provide for an already overburdened justice system.

Why we should care about inhumane prison conditions
By
  • Ariane Nevin
  • Clare Ballard
6 December 2017

On the anniversary of Sonke and Lawyers for Human Rights’ Pollsmoor overcrowding court victory, we should remember why the state of our prisons matter – and consider what we should be doing to improve conditions.

Your poor parenting skills don’t justify corporal punishment
By
  • Wessel Van Den Berg
30 October 2017

Wessel van den Berg argues that the acquisition of parenting skills should not be a prerequisite for the ending of corporal punishment.

Youth engagement for global action: not just engagement but meaningful engagement
By
  • Chupa Kabaso
7 August 2020

This year’s International Youth Day theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action”, could not have come at a better time than now. Young people across the world are calling for their inclusion in governance and decision making platforms. The United Nations …

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