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Sonke Gender Justice receives two major international affirmations for its work to end violence against women

6 January 2012 Gender-Based Violence

Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke), is excited to announce two major international affirmations for the organisations work to end men’s violence against women and also rated by 80 leaders in the field as one of the top performing organisations working globally to end violence against women. As a relatively new organisation working across Africa to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to support men and boys to take action to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS, we are thrilled to have our work recognised and hope it encourages men and boys from all walks of life to speak out against men’s violence against women.
French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights as one of six “distinguished” organisations out of 160 applicants (www.cncdh.fr and www.ambafrance-rsa.org). Founded in 1988, the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights prize is awarded every year by the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) and rewards human rights defenders around the world for their action on the ground. This prize, presented by the Prime Minister of the French government, is awarded to individual or collective action on the ground, irrespective of nationality or borders, undertaken in France or abroad, with respect to specific themes every year. In 2011, the themes were the fight against human rights violations on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity and combating violence against women. Five prize winners share a total award of €75,000 granted by the Prime Minister in Paris on Saturday 10th, and a special mention distinguished the work of five other organisations worldwide. This year around 160 organisations have applied for the prize.

While Sonke was not selected as one of the five winners we are thrilled to have been selected as one of the six organisations to be distinguished by the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights and we are honoured to share this recognition with the KZN Gay and Lesbian Network. For more on their important work see www.gaylesbiankzn.org.

In a global survey conducted by Philanthropedia at GuideStar and released January 6, 2012, Sonke was rated by 80 leaders from over 60 NGOs, research institutions and philanthropic organisations as one of the top performing organisations working globally to end violence against women. Experts working in the field of domestic and sexual violence prevention were asked to recommend up to three nonprofits doing high-impact work across multiple countries/regions, and up to three nonprofits doing high-impact work in a specific country/region. Experts were asked to consider a range of nonprofits including those engaged in service, advocacy, litigation, research, education, and other areas. Nonprofits could focus on one or more of the following areas: peace and gender violence; domestic violence, battering, & marital rape; customary practices; and forced and early marriage. Specifically excluded from the survey were organizations working in human trafficking and reproductive health, rights, and violence against men within the definition of gender based violence.

As a relatively new organisation—established only in 2006—Sonke is proud to be mentioned alongside organisations that are recognized globally for their trail-blazing work and have inspired and informed our work: The Global Fund for Women; UN Women; V-Day; International Rescue Committee (IRC); Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL); ICRW (International Center for Research on Women); Promundo; Women’s Refugee Commission; Equality Now; Women for Women International ; Raising Voices; Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML); Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE). We are especially delighted to share this acknowledgement with Instituto Promundo, with whom Sonke serves as co-chair of the Global MenEngage Alliance (www.menengage.org). We congratulate all for their excellent work.

Sonke is grateful to both the the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights and to Philanthopedia at GuideStar for their commitment to highlight work being done to end violence against women. We also thank our many community volunteers, national and international partner organisations and donors without whom it would have been impossible to do the work we do in communities across Africa to end men’s violence against women.

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