Gender & Sexual Diversity

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 implementation of government programmes. Some of the gains that have been achieved are being threatened by rising traditionalism and reactionary populism. Violence against women rages on and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) 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 violence are therefore core focus areas of our work. We support community activism and movement building and partner with key civil society actors as well as public, religious and traditional thought leaders to strengthen the states response to addressing gender-based violence, to create community dialogue, and challenge homophobic policies, legislations and attitudes.

Gender Democracy


“A Woman is a Strong Person”: The Lived Experiences of Rural Women Activists

The long, hard road towards the recognition of rural land rights in South Africa has been burdened by our country’s history, now exacerbated by new laws that threaten rural democracy and threaten to dissolve spaces in which rural women can assert their rights and address challenges they face. This publication features the stories of four such women and their experiences of fighting against inequality and for citizen's land rights in South Africa.


Keeping the Faith: Working at the Crossroads of Religion and Sexual & Gender Rights.

Keeping the Faith: Working at the Crossroads of Religion and Sexual and Gender Rights is a project of the HBF that seeks to explore and support faith as a site for strengthening human rights and justice for LGBTIQ people. This publication provides a snapshot of current issues, initiatives and central actors in the field and a conceptual framework to advance sexual and gender rights, as well as potential strategies to inform such work.