Gender & Sexual Diversity

Gender & Sexual Diversity

Children playing outside a shelter for abused women and children
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.

Gender Democracy

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
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.
Engender Resource Kit

Engender is a television series focussing on feminism, gender issues and related concepts. The first 3 episodes of the pilot series explored the concept of feminism; feminism and intersectionality; and gendered representations in the media. The Engender Resource Kit mirrors the episodes and was developed from research undertaken for the series.

Conversations on violence against women

More than twenty years into democracy acts of violence against women have not visibly decreased in South Africa. This publication unpacks the many inter-related factors that continuously contribute to high levels of violence against women and hopes to contribute to more strategic and collaborative action.

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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

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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