South Africa | Sonke Gender Justice
This project will refine and test a multi-level model for reducing violence against women and girls (VAWG) in urban South Africa using a cluster randomised controlled trial design. It will expand a gender-transformative programme called One Man Can (OMC) by adding community mobilisation and advocacy, and more squarely focus on preventing violence against women and girls.
South Africa | Project Empower
Stepping Stones and Creating Futures aims to reduce rates of intimate partner violence in urban areas in South Africa. The programme runs peer-to-peer training sessions with 18-24 year olds. In these sessions participants develop livelihoods strategies and are involved in discussions, role plays, dramas and games that encourage participants to reflect on social norms around gender and the use of violence.
In 2012 *Nompu was one of the growing number of young women living in an urban informal settlement in South Africa. Nompu had moved from rural KwaZulu-Natal to Durban, a port city on the east coast of Africa, in the hope of finding a job and establishing a better life for herself. Yet, without completing her high school education, she struggled to find work. In the midst of high levels of unemployment, limited state support, dense living conditions and a struggle for survival, Nompu was often beaten by her boyfriend. Nompu’s boyfriend himself felt alienated from everyday life, without proper work and struggling to make a life for himself.
When *Amanda looks around the community she grew up in, she does not see progress; instead, she sees high unemployment, teenage pregnancy, crime and many young women living in social isolation. Amanda is a 25-year-old woman from an informal settlement in South Africa. There are little to no employment opportunities in the community she lives in, or resources that could help her progress in life, which makes her feel, discouraged. The average past month earnings in the community where she lives are R169 (approx. 12 USD). Amanda describes herself as a person who is quiet, without any confidence and with a fear of doing anything wrong. She says this has made her vulnerable to many things growing up such as, having abusive and controlling boyfriends who offered her financial support on condition that she never challenged them. For Amanda, she was taught, from an early age that men are to be respected and feared and that they were the head of the family. Even if there were aspects in her relationship that she was not happy with, she held on to the belief that the man is God to you and you should never disagree with him.
The What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls Global Programme has carried out research to better understand how to prevent violence against women and girls living with disabilities, who are at an increased risk of violence, abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation. Women and girls with disabilities also face additional pressures because they are regarded as unable to meet the social roles and expectations on women and girls to attract men, marry, bear children, or care for families. This can result in further social exclusion, which may contribute to development of depression or other mental illness, in addition to increasing their physical and economic vulnerabilities. While the evidence base is limited, this evidence brief identifies promising strategies to prevent violence against women girls with disabilities.
Poverty is a key driver of intimate partner violence (IPV). Women living in poorer places with lower socio-economic status, higher food insecurity, and less access to education and work opportunities are more likely to experience IPV. In addition, women without economic and social resources find it harder to leave abusive relationships. To date, women’s economic empowerment interventions have been central to IPV prevention approaches. This evidence review, however, suggests that women’s involvement in economic interventions has mixed effects on their vulnerability to IPV and can in fact increase the risks of their experiencing IPV, especially in situations where women’s participation in paid economic activity is the exception to the norm. Evidence suggests that interventions that aim to increase women’s access to work need to focus simultaneously on socially empowering women and transforming community gender norms to maximize the positive impact of women’s work on women’s empowerment and help prevent VAWG.
Violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) are violations of human rights and global public health priorities. Historically, work to address VAW and VAC have often occurred separately or in silos. This evidence note, however, draws attention to the growing body of evidence on the intersections of VAW and VAC, including risk factors, common social norms, co-occurrence, and the intergenerational cycle of abuse. It presents promising programmatic approaches to prevent and respond to both forms of violence; and policy recommendations, which include prioritising prevention efforts with adolescent girls that challenge gender norms and build girls’ agency.
Gibbs A, Sikweyiya Y, Jewkes R. “I tried to resist and avoid bad friends”: The role of social contexts in shaping the transformation of masculinities in a gender-transformative and livelihood strengthening intervention in South Africa. Men and Masculinities Article first published online: January 1, 2017 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1097184X17696173
This is a comprehensive guide and teaching aid for a ten-session initiative to teach young people strategies to secure a better future for themselves. Each session is clearly laid out with different subjects to consider, and different exercises to undergo. At the end of the document are a number of fact sheets to help participants progress with their education, apply for jobs, secure housing and look after their own needs.
Gibbs, A., Washington, L., Willan, S., Ntini, N., Khumalo, T., Mbatha, N.& Ferrari, G. (2017). The Stepping Stones and Creating Futures intervention to prevent intimate partner violence and HIV-risk behaviours in Durban, South Africa: study protocol for a cluster randomized control trial, and baseline characteristics. BMC public health, 17(1), 336.
IPV is significantly higher in informal settlements. This study looks at a participatory group-based intervention to reduce IPV through strengthening livelihoods and transforming gender norms. Through a study of socio-demographics and IPV, it becomes clear that simply applying an economic strengthening intervention without accompanying gender transformative interventions may in fact exacerbate the problem of IPV.