Gender-Based Violence is violence against another person because of their gender, gender identity, and or sexual identity.
The violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, psychological (mental), verbal, economic or cultural.
Gender-based violence is deeply rooted in gender inequality and continues to be one of the most notable human rights violations within all societies. Gender-based violence is violence directed against a person because of their gender.
Both women, men and the queer community experience gender-based violence but the majority of victims are women and girls.
Gender-Based Violence (GBV), specifically Violence Against Women (VAW), in South Africa is a present and consistent threat to women, yet our media, communities and government responses do not reflect this. The Justice Desk is echoing the call from womxn across South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia; to demand that Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) be responded to 365 days a year.
The rates of GBV, specifically VAW at the hands of men, has infiltrated all aspects of the lived experience of being a woman. It is present in the school, home, community and public sector. As a country, we have been slow to respond to this epidemic, and current attempts at addressing GBV have been haphazard at the least, and uncoordinated at best.
In order to address Gender-Based Violence, The Justice Desk runs the following projects:
The Mbokodo Club (The Rock Club) project focuses on offering female empowerment , leadership and self-defence workshops to girl survivors of gender-based violence and rape, in the murder capital of South Africa, a community called Nyanga.
Self-defence, self-care and mental health support are promoted, equipping young girls to be able to defend themselves, as well as live empowered lives. Our girls have gone on to become incredible leaders and champions for human rights in their communities.
The motto of this project is “wathint’abafazi wathint’imbokodo” which translates to “you strike a woman, you strike a rock”.
Ntsika yeThemba, meaning Pillars of Hope, is a project that aims to
empower young boys and men to become women’s rights defenders and champions.
Through mentorship and outdoor adventure-based education, Ntsika yeThemba re-defines and builds positive ideas and actions of masculinity.
Principles of respect, equality, understanding consent, and assisting in building safer communities are at the core of this project.
Our boys have gone on to be incredible defenders of women rights, using their platforms to both demand and lead phenomenal change, both within their communities and amongst their peers.