Featured Multimedia
Africa Day 2015 VOX-POPS
State of the World’s Fathers: South Africans speak out
Featured Articles & Opinion
17 Jun 2015

When fathers play an active and equal role in the household and are a positive presence, it relieves the burden of care on mothers – but also results in a …

8 Jun 2015

About 25 faith leaders, activists and members of the MenEngage Africa network are currently participating in a five-day skills building and co-learning works…

5 Jun 2015

Sonke’s Emily Keehn and Czerina Patel, and Lawyers for Human Rights’ Clare Ballard highlight the dangerous conditions of South Africa’s correctional fa…

Latest News
1 Jul 2015 Press Releases

In the wake of another surge of xenophobic violence earlier this year, Parliament convened an Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Probing Violence Against Foreign Nati…

30 Jun 2015 On Radio & TV

Sonke’s Patrick Godana will be a guest on Bush Radio and later meet with ‘I Am Project’ Rev. Boonzaaier at Khanya Radio discussing ‘Civil…

30 Jun 2015 Sonke News

MenCare+ partners across the globe work with young men, fathers and their partners, engaging individual men to be allies for gender equality and maternal and…

30 Jun 2015 Sonke News

New Delhi, 10 January, 2014: Global efforts to attain gender equality will remain unfulfilled unless men and boys become more fully engaged in the process, i…

30 Jun 2015 Sonke News

The 2nd Men Engage Global Symposium kicked off in New Delhi on November 10. Over 1000 delegates from 94 countries are attending the symposium where speakers …

30 Jun 2015 Sonke News

2nd MenEngage Global Symposium: “Gender Equality can only be achieved if men and boys are fully involved in the process” New Delhi, 10 November, 201…

Featured Photography
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Cape Town, Western Cape on February 25, as South Africa’s Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, prepared to address Parliament with his Budget Speech. Sonke and many of our partners (The GBV-NSP Campaign Partners) are calling on President Zuma to immediately commit the money and political will to the development of a comprehensive national strategic plan to address gender-based violence that will strengthen both prevention and response.
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Sonke and TAC apply to become 'friends of the court' in historic class action lawsuit

Sonke and TAC apply to become ‘friends of the court’ in historic class action lawsuit.

Sonke Newsletter 17

Sonke’s Newsletter 17 has arrived – Check it out!.


As a child, Siyabonga’s stepmother discouraged him from going to school, so he found support from another family member. Later as an HIV activist, Siyabonga was the subject of gossip and criticism in his community, but he continued the work anyway. Now a peer educator, Siyabonga shares what he has learned and encourages everyone to take action to end stigma and prevent HIV.


Siyabonga was fortunate to have an uncle and a teacher who supported him and encouraged him to “be strong.” His work as a peer educator who speaks out against HIV stigma shows the importance of caretakers and mentors in the development of community leadership.

Consider this as you watch his story: What does leadership mean to you?
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JULY 1, 2015

The Hate Crimes Working Group is disappointed by the decision of the Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Probing Violence Against Foreign Nationals not to address King Zwelithini, regarding his comments earlier this year about foreign nationals.

In the wake of another surge of xenophobic violence earlier this year, Parliament convened an Ad Hoc Joint Committee on Probing Violence Against Foreign Nationals, which sat again on Thursday 25 June. In March of this year, Zulu King Zwelithini was recorded saying that foreigners “must take their bags and go where they’ve come from.” Many have viewed these comments as the potential cause of the last surge of xenophobic violence. But on Thursday the Ad Hoc Committee dismissed the suggestion of speaking with the King about his utterances. Committee Co-Chair, Ms Ruth Mbengu, told the Ad Hoc Committee that “(o)nly the media thinks it started with the king.” King Zwelithini has argued that his comments were taken out of context and has refused to apologise or provide an explanation.

In our multi-cultural society, with its rich history and diversity of lived experience, it is important that we all show respect for each other and respect the positions of office holders and traditional leaders. But these leaders must lead by example and, especially in the light of our hateful and violent Apartheid past, must guard against comments and actions that can be interpreted as intolerant, prejudiced, or hateful in any way. Leaders must be mindful of the impact their words and actions could have on vulnerable groups. South African activists and researchers working with issues related to hate crimes generally share the conviction that hateful speech, such as harassment, slurs, and other forms of verbal abuse, creates fertile ground for hate-motivated victimisation.

“People in leadership positions, regardless of who they are, must be accountable. The shielding of leaders by our government must end,” said Lesego Tlhwale, Advocacy Officer at the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Task Force, a member of the Hate Crimes Working Group.

Anthony Waldhausen, Director of the Gay & Lesbian Network and member of the Hate Crimes Working Group, agreed, saying that, “Our oversight institutions, including Parliament, should not be seen to be creating a culture of impunity. Comments and actions that can be interpreted by the general public as prejudiced must be addressed, regardless of their source.”

“The South African Human Rights Commission is in the process of investigating a number of complaints of hate speech against the King. This clearly shows that it is not only the media that thinks the King’s words could have been a catalyst for the subsequent wave of xenophobic violence,” said Marlise Richter, Policy Development and Advocacy Specialist at Sonke Gender Justice, a member of the Hate Crimes Working Group.

“Influential figures must use their power and platforms to build the respect and tolerance necessary for our democracy,” said Matthew Clayton, secretary of the Hate Crimes Working Group and Research, Advocacy and Policy Coordinator of the Triangle Project.

“We strongly support ANC MP Zephroma Dlamini-Dubazana’s suggestion that the Ad Hoc Committee visit the King, to engage in a dialogue about what lead to his statements, and their potential unintended impact. It cannot be disrespectful to do so if MPs are democratically elected political leaders of the South African people. We also support the suggestion that other Chiefs and leaders be similarly engaged,” said Sanja Bornman, Chairperson of the Hate Crimes Working Group and attorney at the Women’s Legal Centre.

The Hate Crimes Working Group is a civil society grouping whose members work closely with government and civil society, including religious and traditional leaders, to advocate for hate crimes legislation.


For further information contact:

Marlise Richter, Policy Development and Advocacy Specialist at Sonke Gender Justice
021 423 7088

Sanja Bornman, Attorney at Women's Legal Centre
021 424 5660

Roshan Dadoo, Acting Executive Director at Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa
011 403 7560
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University College London, University of Cape Town, and Sonke Gender Justice is pleased to invite you to:
Our blind spot? Men and ART/HIV services
Global webinar discussion

Wednesday 8th July 2015, 2:30-4:00pm South Africa (1:30-3:00pm UK, GMT+1)

Take part in this webinar by joining via https://join.me/ESRCgenderseminarseries and Twitter #genderseminar (see attached instructions)

Research shows that men in Sub-Saharan Africa have lower HIV testing rates than women, are at a disadvantage in going on to timely ART, tend to present later at health services (with advanced viral load) and are more likely to die on ART. This context places the burden of HIV care and support on women. Although addressing these concerns is important for men, women, and the public health system, national responses are insufficiently focused on improving men’s access to HIV services. This webinar, being held as part of a panel discussion at the Association for the Social Sciences and Humanities in HIV (ASSHH) conference, Stellenbosch, South Africa, will bring together experts working on men and HIV within the context of public health and gender justice responses at the research, programming and policy levels. It will seek to advance the debate on how communities, NGOs, academia and health systems might address this issue for everyone’s benefit.

Tim Shand, IGH, University College London (moderator)
Chris Colvin, Head, Division of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Cape Town
Morna Cornell, Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology & Research, University of Cape Town
Dan Smith, Chair of Anthropology, Brown University
Remmy Shawa, SRHR Portfolio Manager, Sonke Gender Justice
Jeremiah Chikovore, HIV/AIDS, STIs & TB Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa

The seminar will be a simultaneous panel and webinar. People will be able to listen in and send/ask questions in real time to the panellists via join.me and contribute via Twitter: #genderseminar. See attached joining instructions.

Organised by The Institute for Global Health (IGH) at University College London, the South African Social Science and HIV Programme (SASH) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Sonke Gender Justice.


For further information please contact:

Tim Shand: t.shand.11@ucl.ac.uk

Sarah Hawkes: s.hawkes@ucl.ac.uk
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