Gender & Sexual Diversity

Gender & Sexual Diversity

Financial dependency on abusive partners often keeps women in abusive relationships. Shelters are a life-line for many women who don't have the means to support themselves and their children
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HBF and the National Shelter Movement of South Africa have partnered with Health E-News, a television and print news service, to raise awareness of domestic violence and the importance of shelter services. This partnership is associated to the “Enhancing State Responsiveness to Gender-Based Violence: Paying the True Costs” EU-funded project. In this article, citizen journalist Lindiwe Msibi, tells the story of a woman's first experience of physical abuse after her boyfriend lost his job. She also provides information on the services that the Nisaa Institute for Women's Development shelter offers abused women.  

Gender Democracy

Woman at a shelter for abused women and their children
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HBF and the National Shelter Movement of South Africa have partnered with Health E-News, a television and print news service producing news and analysis for national media, to raise awareness of domestic violence. This partnership is associated to the “Enhancing State Responsiveness to Gender-Based Violence: Paying the True Costs” EU-funded project. In this article, citizen journalist Lindiwe Msibi, shares the story of a woman’s experience of domestic violence and the services that are available, such as those offered by the shelters of People Opposing Women Abuse, for women in similar circumstances.
Children playing outside a shelter for abused women and children
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June 16th is a day for deep introspection when the country honours and celebrates young people who had the courage and determination to rise up against the apartheid state 41 years ago. There is however little to celebrate in light of the excessive levels of violence and sexual abuse being perpetrated against children and the youth in our country every day. June must therefore also be a month in which we ask some serious questions about what role government plays in ensuring a strong democratic South Africa for future generations.
Woman at a shelter for abused women and their children. The shortage of shelters has real effects. When filled to capacity, shelters have no choice but to turn women away, which means they will either be forced to return to their abusive partners or risk homelessness
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South Africa has had a Domestic Violence Act since 1998, but its critics say the law is ineffective. Women & Girls recently spoke to Claudia Lopes, project manager of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, about the challenges of tackling domestic violence in South Africa and what needs to be done to ensure women can leave abusive relationships quickly and safely.
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LGBTI

Queering Cape Town

Cape Town is oft labelled the gay capital of Africa. For a great number of its LGBTIQ citizens however, the city remains a cryptic and rather inaccessible space.

One of the Participants at the AIR
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125 queer Muslim activists and allies from around the world gathered outside Cape Town in October to build a movement encouraging inclusive interpretations of Islam that honor and respect their identities in full.

Participants in the workshop on the struggles of gay and lesbian sangomas.

It’s hard being gay and a sangoma, traditional healer Michael Khumalo told a workshop organised as part of the Khumbulani Pride events and hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Cape Town.

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What we do

Realising substantive gender equality in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe has been challenging. Progressive legislation and policies have not always been translated into effective government programmes. Some of the gains that have been achieved are being threatened by rising traditionalism and reactionary populism. Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and communities in the region remain disadvantaged, stigmatised and excluded from many aspects of economic, political and social life.

Public and political awareness-raising and the prevention of gender based and sexual violence are therefore core focus areas of our work. We also partner with key civil society actors as well as public and religious thought leaders to effectively challenge homophobic policies, legislations and attitudes.

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