South Africa

WWSOSA is the South African Chapter of the International WWSO Coalition. 

As the We Will Speak Out Coalition develops and formalises its structure and activities, there might be some refinement of the information below. For now, this is a brief overview of how we see the coalition move ahead:

WWSOSA Strategic Framework (2017-2019)


WWSOSA is the South African Chapter of the International WWSO Coalition, which works towards transformed, just and reconciled communities where the lives of women, boys and girls are no longer shattered by gender based violence.


A united and effective faith response to ending sexual and gender based violence in South Africa.


We are a membership-initiated and -driven group of organisations and individuals that work together from a faith perspective to end sexual and gender based violence and bring healing in SA.


The WWSOSA Coalition is rooted in the following values, which members who join ascribe to in their lives and work:

  1. We believe all people are created in God’s image;
  2. We respect and uphold the dignity of all people and the wider creation;
  3. We are guided by those most directly affected;
  4. We believe that God is a God of Justice – and that we are called to work for justice;
  5. We are driven by a commitment to gender equality.


As a membership coalition, WWSOSA is a coordinating and facilitative body that supports and strengthens the work of its partners to enable a more coordinated and unified response to SGBV[1].

Working from a faith perspective, WWSOSA supports the work of its members in both prevention of SGBV and mitigating its effects, as they contribute to the following agreed outcomes:

  1. Survivors: Survivors of sexual and gender based violence organise themselves for mutual support, and they are accompanied as they make their voices heard through relevant advocacy initiatives.
  2. Advocacy: Faith leaders are challenged and enabled to speak out against sexual and gender based violence.
  3. Faith Communities Engage: Faith communities become safer spaces for survivors of sexual and gender based violence.
  4. Allies: Men and boys are engaged as allies together with women and girls in the struggle against sexual and gender based violence.

 In order to facilitate the work of its members, the WWSOSA coalition:

  1. Creates networking spaces to facilitate collaborative working
  2. Provides a platform for joint advocacy campaigns
  3. Facilitates access to capacity development and technical support to its members
  4. Operates as a hub for coordination, communications and resource mobilisation
  5. Documents and/or disseminates evidence-based good practice that contributes to national and global priorities and helps to unify and quantify the faith sector’s response

Leading to the following outcomes:

  1. Members collaborate on key initiatives, which unifies efforts and deepens the impact of the work
  2. Members’ voices are amplified by joint advocacy work.
  3. Members are able to articulate improvements in knowledge and expertise as a result of WWSOSA exchanges and resources made available.
  4. Evidence-based good practice examples are distributed and potentially influence responses in the faith sector, (as well as other sectors more broadly.
  5. The collaborative work of member faith communities contributes directly or indirectly towards South Africa’s SDGs as well as its compliance with key international protocols such as the SADC Gender Protocol

WWSOSA Theory of Change (TOC) 201708

Join us!

Access the Membership form: WWSOSA Membership electronic 

You can also register for WWSOSA Electronic Newsletters here 

We Will Speak Out SA are enthusiastic supporters of the international Thursdays in Black Campaign.

Click to read recent news and stories below:

Stories Of Change: Survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence Speak Out. Read here

Diakonia Council of Churches meeting with church leaders on Sexual and Gender Based Violence. Read story here

We Will Speak Out at Sizimbokodo Meeting. Read here

Church Leaders’ Training by Sonke Gender Justice. Read here

Brief Summary Report on the High Level Provincial Gender Machinery Meeting, hosted by the KZN Premier’s Office. Read here

Lessons from Act Alliance Gender Solidarity Platform for WWSOSA Strategic Thinking. Read here

#NotinmyName March in Soweto. Read here

Through the work of the Coalition, the silence is broken.

A movement of survivors of sexual violence in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, was launched on the 22nd of November 2013. 12 months on, the movement has grown in number, confidence, hope and purpose. To date Tearfund has been accompanying over a 100 survivors in this province. The numbers continue to grow as women and girls find safe spaces and speak out, inspiring one another. Listen to their voices, their experiences and their hopes as they journey forward together.

This was supported by Amplify Change as part of the Movement for Change Project.


  • Why it's important
  • Fikile
  • Fundisiwe Mbongwa
  • Khanyisile Sibisi
  • Mandisa
  • Thandiwe Ngubane
  • Minenhle
  • Ngetheni Msane
  • Nomusa Ndebele
  • Ntombi Maselo
  • Yvette
  • Mary

Tearfund is grateful to UNFPA South Africa for making the collection of stories possible.

The videos were filmed by Christina Shange.



Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba launching ‘We Will Speak Out: South Africa’ in November 2013.

South Africa

Population: 51,770,560 (2011 census)
Location: Southern Africa


SV Statistics

  • 66,065 people reported sexually assaults to the National Police in 2013. Between 80 and 95 percent of rapes are not reported due to fear and stigma.
  • Conservative estimates suggest that more than 580,000 rapes could have been committed in 2012
  • In 2008, a survey found that 28% of men in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces had raped a woman or girl.
  • One third of the men who had committed rape did not feel guilty

Sources: United Nations, Medical Research Council in South Africa, LEAD SA/South African Police Service, Tearfund research findings


I will speak out because…

Join survivors of sexual violence, church leaders, organisations and members of the general public in speaking out against sexual violence by SIGNING OUR PLEDGE HERE


Breaking the Silence Report

Breaking the silence demonstrates the urgent need for the local and national church in South Africa to unite, work with key stakeholders and take action to end sexual violence (SV). The report highlights three key points:

Breaking the silence cover

1. Sexual violence is widespread across South Africa and has a deeply traumatising and damaging effect on survivors.

2. The church has often failed survivors of sexual violence. Many churches deepen the impact of sexual violence through their silence, stigma and discrimination. Some churches have not done enough to care for the marginalised or to speak out on their behalf.

3. The church is central to community life and has untapped potential to prevent and respond to sexual violence. It can provide care and support, stand alongside survivors seeking justice, and identify and challenge harmful attitudes and beliefs within society that perpetuate sexual violence.


Photos from the 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls campaign 2014


For more photos, please click here.

Read report from the 16 days of activism campaign from WWSO South Africa

WWSOSA updated final report

Men’s March against violence against women and children

Umlazi Oasis March 2014 (1)

On 31st August the Oasis Church in Umlazi Township one of the biggest township in KwaZulu-Natal took a firm stand against the abuse of women and children. This was a special gesture marking the close of Woman’s month. The men of the Oasis Church in Umlazi took upon themselves to lead a campaign through a march demonstration from the church to the local taxi-rank and in the community holding placards with messages against advocating against the abuse of women and children.

For more details about the march, view here.




We Will Speak Out: South Africa Launch

On the 25th November 2013, Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and UNAIDS South Africa launched ‘We Will Speak Out: South Africa’ at Pretoria Cathedral.

Read the coalition statement here.

UNAIDS and AB  UNWomen

Report and pledge card  attendees praying

Speakers included the Anglican Church, HOPE Africa, National Prosecuting Authority, Tearfund, SAFFI, Sonke Gender Justice, UNAIDS and UNWomen (pictured above) spoke during the event.


The Most Revd Thabo Makgoba lead the attendees in prayers for those affected by sexual violence and the local church to respond and prevent sexual violence.

We Will Speak Out: South Africa Activities

Since the launch several new organisations have joined the coalition, therefore on 10th September 2014, coalition members will meet to develop activity plans for the future.

On 26th November 2013, faith leaders met to develop an action plan for the faith response based on findings and recommendations mentioned in the ‘Breaking the silence’ report. The plan will seek to galvanise broader action at a national level to end sexual violence.

  • Bible-Based Abuse

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  • It is time to break our silence

    On the 22nd November, a group of remarkable women came together to share with local government officials, UN agencies, NGOs and church leaders. Their desire to be a voice for the […]

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  • Why we were silent…

    During a meeting with church leaders in KwaZulu Natal, a group of survivors shared their stories thru a poem… Why Were We Silent… “When we speak we are afraid our words […]

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Latest news

Current members of the coalition include individuals, churches, denominations and organisations