News

Friday’s march #NotInMyName a day of protest against abuse

The Open Disclosure Foundation, Sonke Gender Justice, the Buhle bolwazi Foundation and partner civil society formations are calling on government, communities and individuals to join a march this Friday, May, 26.

The march – #NotInMyName – will serve to register collective anger about how women and children are raped and killed in our society. Whilst noting the existence of government’s policies, strategies and programmes, the #NotInMyName campaign was borne to point to the fact that we live in a violent society, where women and children are brutalised daily.

This morning, Xolani Gwala spoke to Shoki Tshabalala from the Buhle bolwazi Foundation, one of the organisers:

“I think what we also need to acknowledge as a collective, is that we seem to have normalised the abnormal in terms of issues of issues of gender-based violence.”

Shoki Tshabalala from the Buhle bolwazi Foundation

“We have come up with a draft program of action that we hope government will embrace…we are appealing to government to say we here here. As civil society we want to join hands with you, we want to work with you, we acknowledge the programs that are in place, the policies, the strategies, but let’s take a look t what exactly is it that we can do to enhance intervention on the ground.”

Shoki Tshabalala from the Buhle bolwazi Foundation

Join the march on Friday and stand up against gender based violence in your community. The march will leave from UJ Soweto Campus at 10:00, and will end at Regina Mundi Church.

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Equipped for Research

Written by Siyabulela Tonono, Published in New Dimension newsletter

From the 24-25th April, the Justice and Service desk of the Methodist Church Mission Unit hosted a two day training workshop on gender-based violence at the MCO boardroom. The aim of the workshop was to train research field workers that will be administering surveys in various parts of the Gauteng province, as part of the Amplify Change project that the Methodist Church is an implementing partner of.

Through funding from Amplify Change, the MCSA is part of an initiative that is aimed at creating a movement across faith communities and civil society, including survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence, that will work together to prevent and end the pain of Sexual Gender Based Violence nationally and specifically in communities across 4 provinces of South Africa. The project has been rolled out in two provinces already, Kwa Zulu Natal and the Western Cape, and is currently being rolled out Gauteng.

The project is a partnership between Tearfund, Sonke Gender Justice, CABSA, Zoe-Life and the MCSA. The aims of the intervention are to

  • Build a Sexual and Gender Based Violence Survivor Movement in South Africa
  • Support the development of We Will Speak Out South Africa coalition in its vision of ending SGBV
  • Work with faith communities to create safe spaces for SGBV survivors
  • Activate men and boys to spearhead ending of SGBV

In the Gauteng province, the role of the MCSA has been that of identifying communities and congregations that have been actively involved in the field of sexual and gender-based violence.  The plan for the research arm of the project is to conduct research on the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs and practices of faith communities  on SGBV. The research will be conducted in the communities of KwaThema, in Springs, Kya Sands informal settlement north of Randburg and Alberton.

The research fieldworkers that were part of the training come from these communities and work in as community activists within their communities. The purpose of the training was to better equip them with the technical skills that will be necessary to conduct research in the communities. Upon conclusion of the research, the findings will be fed back into the community and serve as way for the community to look at the issues that the research highlights.

The fieldworkers will commence their work in May and should complete the data collection by the end of the month.

(For more information on the project contact the Justice and Service desk on 011 615 1616 or email Siyabulela@mco.org.za)

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A Resource for Prayer, Reflection and Action for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence from the “We Will Speak Out” Coalition

16-days-res

The ‘We Will Speak Out’ International Coalition has produced our second resource specific to the 16 days of activism against gender based violence.

Our resource for prayer, reflection and action (https://www.wewillspeakout.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/We-Will-Speak-Out-Prayer-Resource-2016.pdf) during the 16 days is available for use by individuals, churches and communities.

We hope that this resource will:
1. Raise awareness of the work of all coalition partners, staff and churches in preventing and responding to gender based violence.
2. Motivate our staff, partners and supporters worldwide to stand up and speak out against injustice against women and girls.
3. Engage with boys, youth and men to create positive images of masculinity – that respect women and treat them as equals
4. Mobilise prayer on this extremely sensitive issue globally.

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WWSO_SA Exhibition at the Methodist Church of Southern Africa Annual Conference

On the 24 September 2016 We Will Speak Out had an opportunity to exhibit at the annual Methodist Church of Southern Africa conference which was held at St Georges Hotel in Pretoria.

The conference was attended by 150 delegates. The delegation is made up of church leaders, lay and clergy, from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Swaziland.

We had an opportunity to interact and share information on WWSO_SA with around 80 people who were very interested in joining the coalition. 60 membership forms and Coalition Membership: Policy Document were distributed.

Even though we exhibited for only 5hrs, it was an exciting and good opportunity to interact with the leadership of the church.

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WWSO-SA Exhibition at the “Truth Be Told” International Conference & Leadership Training

CABSA represented We Will Speak Out SA and Thursdays in Black at the “Truth be Told” Conference at Rhema Ministries from the 14 – 17 September 2016.

Various Christian leaders spoke and challenged religious patriarchy and gender based violence (GBV). There between 50 to 60 visitors at the exhibition daily, participants had an opportunity to visit the exhibition before the sessions began and during tea and lunch breaks.

Brochures and pamphlets were shared with the participants, we had resources from all three partners and most of the resources were disseminated. We had participants who completed the forms to join the WWSOSA coalition. Most participants were very much intrigued by resources on Church and GBV, these resources sparked discussions and questions.

I met Mary-Anne who shared her very painful story with me where she was forced to be indoors by her ex-husband and not work or be part of any activities in her community or church. Every time she made a “mistake” she would be locked in a cage for a few hours in another room. Her marriage has been a terrible experience for her and her young son. She took courage to file for divorce and now she is safe but still needs support and counselling for her son also.

There are a lot of local church leaders who were amazed on the amount of information on GBV and on how they can get involved.

Ps Cele from AFM told of many cases from his church that he turned a blind eye on because he didn’t have any clue of how to deal with the situation but now he will have a new approach on how to deal with GBV in his church.

This was a good platform for church leaders to learn and be exposed to Gender Based Violence.20160914_1809471 20160914_181212 20160914_215842 20160914_215915

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Draft Constitution and Governance Document for We Will Speak Out SA

WWSOSA was launched on the 25th of November 2013, by the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Reverend Thabo Makgoba when he committed the Anglican Communion to break the silence around SGBV in South Africa.
 
There has been a number of activities and events since, but the lack of resources and structures limited the growth of the coalition. A grant from AmplifyChange created an opportunity to formalise the coalition.

Members and interested parties met on the 9th and 10th of March 2016 in Johannesburg for a strategic discussion. At this meeting an Interim Steering Committee was selected to take the process forward. Members were Rev Desmond Lesejane (Sonke Gender Justice), Ms Lyn van Rooyen (CABSA), Pastor Xana McCauly (GEMA & Rhema), Mr Sabelo Mashwama (Hope Africa) and Dr Stephanie Thomas (Zoë Life). Organisational changes led to Rev Bafana Khumalo becoming the representative for Sonke and Ms Delene Mark for Hope Africa.

The Committee has had a number of electronic meetings, shared many, many emails and phone calls, and had an opportunity to meet face-to-face for two days.

Progress

In spite of many challenges we can report some progress:

  • The interim steering committee developed a draft constitution and governance policy. See below.
  • A membership policy and membership application form was developed. (See here)
  • Attendance lists and membership information were combined and a database and electonic mailing system developed. You can register for Newsletters here
  • An interim coordinator and administrative support is in place to formalise the secretariat and register the coalition with the NPO directorate.

Meetings

There are a number of events we would like to highlight during the next few weeks. The steering committee would like to present the draft constitution and governance documents to as many members and interested parties as possible for input and suggestions.

Gauteng Region

Date:    Saturday, 17 September 2016 (Last day of the Truth be Told Conference)

Venue:  Rhema Randburg – BC3 Room

Time:    11h00

Western Cape Region

Date:     Tuesday, 25th  October 2016

Venue:   HOPE Africa, 1 Braehead Road Kenilworth, Cape Town

Time:     11h00

RSVP:   Thandeka Mashwama thandeka@hopeafrica.org.za

KwaZulu-Natal Region

Date:     Monday, 3 October

Venue:   Zoë-Life, 7 Brendon Lane, Westville, Durban

Time:     11:00 – 13:00

If you can’t attend

In addition to the meetings, the draft documents are available here for input.

Please provide any input by email to Rose Owen  rose@phelamanga.co.za

Annual General Meeting

Ideally this process should be completed in time for the Annual General Meeting which is provisionally planned for the 25th of November 2016. (Details to follow).

If the coalition accepts the final constitution, the process of registering the Coalition can be started by the interim coordinator.

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Membership Information and Application – South Africa

We Will Speak out South Africa is a faith based Coalition responding to the challenges of sexual and gender based violence; that aims to implement prevention strategies; to advance, protect and advocate for human rights; and to ensure access to support and healing for survivors and their communities.

Membership of WeWill Speak Out South Africa is open to individuals or organisations in South Africa that share the dream of the coalition.

In applying for membership applicants recognise the WWSOSA values, endorse the positions set out in the membership document (below)  and commit to play an active role in the Coalition.

You are welcome to fill in the attached membership form and send it to communication@cabsa.org.za

wwso-member-policy

back-of-membership-app-form

Please join the discussion!

You can  register for e-mail communication and newsletters from the WWSOSA coalition here.

Join us on Social Media

Twitter  Here

facebook Here

 

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WWSO Exhibition at 1st SA Conference on Violence. 25/8/2016

At the WWSOSA Exhibition

At the WWSOSA Exhibition

CABSA represented We Will Speak Out SA at the 1st South African Conference on Violence, from the 15th to the 17th August 2016 at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre. In addition to materials from We Will Speak Out SA, materials were shared from two Coalition partners: GEMA and CABSA. The Thursdays in Black Campaign was also highlighted.

The conference was exceptionally well-focused on gender based violence. There were between 20 and 25 visitors at the exhibition daily. Participants had an opportunity to visit the exhibition room at tea break and after lunch, so there wasn’t much activity between sessions.

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WWSOSA Material – Membership Policy and Membership Form

Brochures and pamphlets were shared with the participants. We had participants who completed membership forms to join the coalition; one of them was a representative from the Ethekwini Mayoral office.

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Membership Policy

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And the back

Participants were very interested in what Faith Based Organisations are busy with in their communities, because some of the organisations present at the conference have started to work with churches and church leaders. Participants were interested to gather information on activities on sexual violence and gender based violence and how to collaborate with faith based organisations.

There were lots of questions asked.

This was also a good opportunity to interact with other exhibitors and hear what work they are doing.

Together with Lifeline, exhibitors agreed to wear black on Wednesday since the following day was “Thursday in Black”. It made it easier to demonstrate or encourage our visitors about Thursday in Black.

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All the Banners

Nomsa Papale from Lifeline and I had conversations on how to reach out to faith communities and what types of programs could be proposed to churches. She found this very encouraging because a lot of people have given up on faith communities. She also appreciated hearing other people’s experiences working with faith communities. She was also impressed on hearing and reading about We Will Speak Out. For her it was not just about being there to represent LifeLine but she has a burden for her faith community. It would be a great achievement for her to see faith leaders in her community working together to combat gender based violence.

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GEMA Materials

Hearing stories from different people about the work they are doing and the impact it has on their communities and churches was motivating. A Muslim lady, who is a psychologist by profession, shared the challenges she faced on starting interfaith projects in Paarl focusing on Gender Based Violence. She faced challenges in also trying to show faith leaders how the project could have an impact if they worked together. She realised that this was a process not a quick fix.

Having a conversations with Doctors Without Borders was also enlightening. Mpho shared about their work with faith communities, she said “I realised that its not an easy task to get faith leaders to work together, it doesn’t matter where you are from and what education level you have. When you want to work in a community you have to have thick skin”.

It is imperative to understand the communities we work in and be inclusive to the faith community.

This was a great opportunity for We Will Speak Out SA to become known and recognised.

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UK launch of the CAR Sexual Violence Report.

The UK launch of an important report on sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) during the recent conflict in Central African Republic (CAR) brought government officials and faith leaders together this week…

Read more

 

 

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FCO Human Rights Minister Baroness Anelay’s message on ending SGBV.

FCO Human Rights Minister Baroness Anelay speaks about the urgency of ending violence against women and the importance of the start of 16 days of activism campaign on 25 November 2015. We thank her for mentioning the work of our coalition in her speech and FCO’s continuous support for the work with faith leaders and communities to end SGBV.

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