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Project Updates

Change the Story: Refugees and Migrants Speak Against GBV

Hitting the airwaves just in time for 16 Days of Activism, Change the Story: Refugees and Migrants Speak Against GBV is a 3-part series of short radio dramas highlighting factors that make refugees and migrant communities vulnerable to sexual violence as well as challenges for accessing care and treatment services. While all women and girls face challenges reporting any kind of violence, refugees and migrants face added barriers of language, lack of knowledge of local systems and rights, not knowing where to go, few support systems, and at times xenophobic responses.

» Download the press release for more information

The Detention Justice Forum Website Goes Live

The Detention Justice Forum is a civil society coalition to advance the rights and well-being of detainees in South Africa. The Forum is co-founded and co-coordinated by Sonke, Wits Justice Project, and Just Detention International. Learn more about the Detention Justice Forum at the newly launched website, www.detentionjusticeforum.org.za.

Detention Justice Forum hosted a panel on preventing torture at the ISS Conference on criminal justice

The Detention Justice Forum, which Sonke co-coordinates, hosted a panel on “Preventing Torture and Abuse through Oversight” at the 4th Annual ISS Conference on Criminal Justice on the 21st August 2013. As emphasized by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Prevention of Torture, the most effective mechanism to prevent torture and ill-treatment is through the regular inspection of places of detention. Drawing from South African perspectives, the panel examined the current landscape of detention oversight, identified gaps, and considered the needs of specific vulnerable groups.

Click the title to read more and download the presentations.

Submission to the Civilian Secretariat for Police on the Green Paper on Policing

A group of gender, women’s rights and children’s rights civil society organisations working in the area of gender based violence took the decision to make this submission in response to the Civilian Secretariat of Police’s  Green Paper on Policing. This decision was made in light of the fact that part of the poor implementation of the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 (‘the DVA’) which impedes survivor’s of domestic violence ability to benefit from the DVA is linked to problems with policing. This submission contains comments and recommendations applicable to domestic violence and policing.

» Download the document

Short Human Rights course - “The Role of Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality”

Sonke Gender Justice, the Gender Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the Centre for the Study of AIDS, University of Pretoria are offering the “The Role of Men and Boys in Achieving Gender Equality” short human rights course to increase the capacity of organisations and individuals – women and men - to lead gender justice programmes that engage men and boys as partners and agents of change within a feminist framework.

Course date: 28 October - 1 November 2013.

Venue: Graduate Centre, University of Pretoria Main Campus.

Download the application form (Application deadline: 23 September 2013)

Download the course overview

For more information visit chr.up.ac.za.

Systemic reforms to address sexual abuse of inmates successfully adopted!

Sexual violence and HIV are interlinked and common phenomena in South Africa’s prisons. It is a conservative estimate that 26.7% inmates 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 Services confirmed that sexual abuse happens regularly. The National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB highlights inmates as a “key population” and calls on the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) to implement laws and policies to prevent and respond to sexual offences in prisons as a means to stem the spread of HIV behind bars. DCS took a critical leap forward in its effort to address sexual abuse and HIV with its recent adoption of the Policy Framework to Address Sexual Abuse of Inmates in DCS Facilities.

New Report: Evaluation of South Africa’s Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services

Sonke is happy to announce the completion of a new publication: Evaluation of South Africa’s Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services: Assessing its independence, effectiveness and community engagement. The report is part of our ongoing advocacy for a stronger, independent Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS).

The report provides an overview of JICS’ history, mandate, and systems, analysing the strengths and weaknesses in its current structure, in light of its potential role as part of the National Preventative Mechanism once the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention Against Torture is ratified. The authors argue that JICS is a vital institution that sheds light on a correctional system that is largely opaque to the outside community, and if strengthened, can increase the Department of Correctional Services’ accountability to its mandate to promote and protect inmates’ rights.

The report goes on to compare JICS to similar watchdog bodies in South Africa and elsewhere, arguing for increased independence and enhanced powers of investigation. Noting that one of JICS’ strengths is its ability to bridge the divide between correctional centres and the community, the authors highlight avenues for civil society organisations to engage with the institution, as important stakeholders in resolving inmate complaints, and as advocates for a stronger correctional service oversight body.

» Download the report 

Sonke Endorses WGPD Submission on Corporal Punishment in the Home

The National Department of Social Development in South Africa has been receiving submissions on a discussion paper about the issue of corporal punishment in the home. The paper included several differing opinions ranging from support for the complete banning of corporal punishment, to the argument that corporal punishment can be accepted if it is applied at the right age, and 'with love and concern'.

The Working Group on Positive Discipline made a very useful and broad submission which Sonke endorsed. In addition, Sonke developed an extra submission that highlights various issues related to corporal punishment especially from the perspective of MenCare. It reflected among a few other points that men who use violence are likely to have witnessed violence as children.

In accordance with the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child’s position, as set out in the discussion document (p2), Sonke equates corporal punishment with violence. In the International Men and Gender Equality Survey, a key finding was that men who use violence had likely witnessed violence as children. In other words, using corporal punishment in the home teaches children that violence is a legitimate way to solve problems. When boys witness this violence, they are more likely to use violence as men later in life.

View the discussion document, the WGPD submission and Sonke's endorsement.

SANAC and Brothers for Life Dialogue on Prevention of GBV Attended by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe

Bafana Khumalo speaks at the Brothers for Life Dialogue

The SANAC men’s sector is preparing a programme to mobilise a million men in South Africa to be actively involved in programmes aimed at stopping the spread of gender based violence, following the men’s dialogue in which 200 men participated, convened by Deputy President Motlanthe to address the spread of gender based violence in South Africa. The dialogue was attended by a cross section of men including the Minister of Health, Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane and Deputy Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities.

» Declaration by the Men of South Africa on the elimination of violence against women and children

» Government, Civil Society in Joint Effort to Fight Rape

» Home must be a safe place

» Motlanthe Urges Better Family LIfe

Sonke Submits Comments on the Commission on Gender Equality Amendment Bill

As part of its work within the Commission for Gender Equality Monitor, Sonke has joined a collective of civil society organisations to submit comments to the National Assembly on the Commission on Gender Equality Amendment Bill.

» Download the Submission on the CGE Act Amendment Bill

» Download the CGE Monitor Concept Note

» Download the Commission for Gender Equality Act of 1996

» Download the Commission for Gender Equality Act Amendment Bill of 2012

More Articles...

  1. Brothers 4 Life Supports MMC and Fatherhood Event in Zola Emndeni
  2. Sonke Delivers a Report on Government Action taken to involve Men and Boys to Prevent VAWG at the UN CSW
  3. Sonke Joins Call for Action at the 57th CSW by the International Campaign to Stop Rape in Conflict
  4. Sonke's Participation at 57th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, NYC March 4-14th
  5. Update on Sonke's Complaint against Pastor 'Mboro' in 2011
  6. Sonke and MenEngage Launch Africa Policy Report Series
  7. First National Bank Supports Sonke's Work in Prisons
  8. Sonke Calls on Men to Join One Billion Rising Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls
  9. Sonke's Mbuyiselo Botha on Radio 702
  10. Commission for Gender Equality Monitor Facebook Page
  11. Public weigh in on the Commission for Gender Equality
  12. One Man Can Provide Care: Small steps to success
  13. World AIDS Day and 16 Days of Activism at Malmesbury Prison
  14. UNFPA and Sonke partner on 19 country meeting on gender transformation in JHB Oct, 2012
  15. Sonke, JDI and Wits Justice Project call for a more independent Judicial Inspectorate of Correctional Services
  16. Invitation to Celebrate 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence, 10 December
  17. Learners and Inmates Engage in Debate
  18. New Sonke-Promundo report on IMAGES report on men, masculinities and GBV in Eastern DRC reveals alarming attitudes about rape amongst many men
  19. Sonke's gains support for MMC from SADTU Provincial General Council
  20. Sonke and Just Detention International Report to the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services
  21. Gallery: Nyanga Soccer Tournament Festival for Unite As One Campaign
  22. Schools Battle Teen Pregnancies
  23. MenEngage Africa youth tell their stories
  24. Fatherhood groups poised to kick off
  25. Shad K: “Keep Shining” – a voice from the margins
  26. Sonke and Just Detention International launch training guide on sexual violence in prisons
  27. Malmesbury Inmates Graduate as Peer Educators
  28. Youth Lekgotla – Sonke Gender Justice - 27 June 2012
  29. Rape is Rape no matter who the victim is
  30. Ubuntu has no boundaries: World Refugee Day Conference, 20 June 2012
  31. Celebrating Youth Month at Goodwood Correctional Facility
  32. Happy Father's Day
  33. Dramatic events at the NCOP meeting in Parliament on 30th May
  34. Ground Up Reporters on the Mess that is The Maitland Refugee Reception Centre
  35. Joint Submission to Porfolio Committe on Sexual Offences Amendment Act
  36. Sonke Men Pay Homage to the Mothers of South Africa
  37. Sonke Documentary to feature in Encounters Film Fest!
  38. Sonke's verbal submission at Western Cape TCB hearing
  39. Prisons Sexual Violence HIV Framework
  40. Mapping the Legal Framework to Prevent Sexual Violence & HIV in South Africa’s Correctional Facilities
  41. SA Men: A History of Violence
  42. Sonke Staff at the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, Feb 2012
  43. Patrick Godana attends Conference with Faith Leaders
  44. Brothers for Life Mobilises Men for Medical Circumcision
  45. Sonke Comments on Budget Speech
  46. "Where's Dumisani?" - Speaking the Language of the Youth
  47. Uproar over Zulu King’s lashing out at Congolese protesters
  48. Destination>>>Circumcision: Sonke's MMC Taxi
  49. Launch of Gugulethu Men's Wellness Centre
  50. Getting into Gear in Gugs
  51. A Conversation on LGBTI Rights
  52. Zille: Stigmatizing pregnant girls is not the solution
  53. Seasons Greetings
  54. My Dad Can Entry from Port Elizabeth
  55. One Man Can: A Poem
  56. MMC Taxis take to the streets
  57. Breaking the Silence - Sonke speaks to Government
  58. RFSU: Great ideas and great resources
  59. World Aids Day Gallery
  60. 16 Days of Activism Gallery
  61. World AIDS Day at Gugs Mall
  62. 100 Men Commit to Ending Gender-based Violence
  63. 16 Days at Pollsmoor Prisons: November 29
  64. RHR Workshop at ARESTA Athlone – The Languages of Refugees in South Africa
  65. Global launch of the MenCare campaign
  66. Entries Flood in for My Dad Can
  67. Media advocacy training with Masisikumeni
  68. Addressing Xenophobia in Local Business: Nyanga and Khayelitsha
  69. Policing of GBV - Migrant Communities' Experiences
  70. Bushbuckridge: A new OMC project and study
  71. Sonke welcomes Julius Malema's apology but notes with concern that it has taken 15 months for him to comply
  72. Update on Malema Case
  73. MenEngage Policy Conference
  74. Judgement pending in the hate-speech case against Julius Malema
  75. Khayelitsha Red Card Activation
  76. Malema Protest 31 Aug 09
  77. Sonke Challenges Manto Tshabala-Msimang's Comments at CSW
  78. Community protests alleged child molester release on bail
  79. The Rio Declaration: Global Symposium on Engaging Men and Boys on Achieving Gender Equality
  80. Contribution to Open Democracy Blog by Dean Peacock, Sonke Gender Justice, South Africa
  81. Staff Experiences of Xenophobic Violence
  82. Soccer for Reintegration, 2008
  83. Street soccer, a strategy for social, 2008 unity
  84. Invitation: PhotoVoice exhibition
  85. Staff Writing on Xenophobia: Zithulele
  86. Staff Writing on Xenophobia: Kelly
  87. Staff Writing on Xenophobia: Nobesethu
  88. Staff Writing on Xenophobia: Robyn
  89. Staff Writing on Xenophobia: Stubbs
  90. Staff Writing on Xenophobia: Thami
  91. Staff Writing on Xenophobia: Dudu
  92. Staff Writing on Xenophobia: Dean
  93. Anti-xenophobia solidarity march
  94. WHO says World Must Step up Violence Prevention
  95. South Africa Country Report to the UN CSW, 2007
  96. Understanding Men's Perceptions of their own and Government's Responses to Violence Against Women
  97. Sonke Survey of Men's Perceptions of Gender Violence
  98. Research into the Impact of PEPFAR Funding
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