Welcome to Sonke’s 2023 edition of the quarterly newsletter. We are excited to share with you our latest organisational developments over the past few months. In this newsletter, you will read about the link between alcohol and intimate partner violence, LGBTQI rights on the African continent and safeguarding sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

Sonke News & Views

Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights

Strengthening Male Engagement in HIV Prevention, Treatment, and Care: Successes in eSwatini and Kenya

Sonke hosted a series of three-day country engagement workshops in eSwatini and Kenya, to address the challenges related to male engagement in HIV prevention, treatment, and care. The workshops, facilitated by Sonke’s Jude Thaddues Njikem and Fredalene Booysen brought together stakeholders from civil society and government entities, national AIDS control committees and other partners, to foster an understanding of the key challenges and opportunities surrounding male involvement in combating HIV/AIDS in each country. The team and stakeholders developed country roadmaps that outline effective strategies for addressing these challenges and maximizing available opportunities. 

Gender-Based Violence

Safe at Home, Safe in Relationships

In South Africa, alcohol use is linked to intimate partner violence. Research shows that men who abuse alcohol are three times more likely to commit intimate partner violence and women’s risk of experiencing gender-based violence increase by six times when alcohol is heavily consumed. Sonke Gender Justice implemented the Safe at Home, Safe in Relationships creative activism campaign on the impact of alcohol abuse on intimate partner violence through a blog series and video highlighting real life stories of survivors of Gender based violence.

Gender-Based Violence

Intimate Partner Violence

Sonke Gender Justice  in collaboration with Mosaic Training, Service & Healing Centre (Mosaic) hosted a two-day national stakeholder dialogue themed “From Policy to Accountability: Challenges and Opportunities in Addressing Intimate Partner Violence in South Africa” from the 20th to the 21st of April in Johannesburg. The forum brought together participants from various civil society organisations across the country, to share ideas on how to best address intimate partner violence. 


One step forward two steps backward…LGBTQI Rights in Africa

So, this happened… in May 2023, Namibia’s Supreme Court passed a progressive ruling that its government must recognise the unions of same-sex couples concluded in foreign countries where it was legal to do so. Though this step is recognised as somewhat progressive, for Namibia it is a bit of a conundrum due the fact that same-sex marriage remains illegal in Namibia itself.

Gender-Based Violence

Safeguarding sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment

Sonke conducted a safeguarding sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment capacity strengthening sessions with each of the Power to Youth partners in Malawi from the 22nd to the 26th May 2023, and in Uganda from the 17th to the 21st April 2023 respectively. The training focused on enhancing participants’ knowledge and understanding of safeguarding against SEAH and Fraud, corruption and bribery and its practical application within their organizations. 

Upcoming Events

MEA Symposium

We are excited to be hosting the 3rd annual MenEngage Africa Alliance (MEA) Symposium from the 14th to 16th of August 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda. Over 200 participants are expected to attend the three-day hybrid symposium, including civil society organisations, government agencies, strategic partners, academia, and UN agencies. Join us for an invigorating conversation on “Accountability and Transformation through Gender-Equitable Evidence-Based Programming’’. 

Recommended Resources

Sonke Annual report 2021/2

State of the World’s Fathers 2023: Centering care in a world in a crisis

MenEngage Africa Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Strategic Plan 2023–2027

To report an incident of sexual harassment, bullying, abuse or any other form of harassment experienced, seen or heard about, or an incident of fraud, corruption or bribery: CALL the toll-free whistle-blower hotline: 0800 333 059, or SMS: 33490, or email: sonke@whistleblowing.co.za. Sonke does not tolerate sexual harassment, bullying, abuse or any other forms of harassment.