On the 13th to 15th of February 2018, WACI Health together with Stop Gender Violence hosted a consultative meeting on Stop Gender Violence Campaign (SGVC) in Johannesburg, South Africa. In attendance were many representatives of civil society who are members of the Task Team namely Sizwe Nombasa Gxuluwe – WACI Health, Sakina Mohamed – Greater Rape Intervention Project (GRIP), Zarina Majiet – MOSAIC, Bafana Khumalo – Sonke Gender Justice, Steve Letsike – Access Chapter 2, Tshivase Nkumiseni – Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Project (TVEP) and Nonhlanhla Skosana – Sonke Gender Justice. Apart from this, the forum came at a crucial time where not only the Task Team were meeting but the provincial coordinators as well.
The expected outcomes being to draft a work plan for 2018, develop agenda items for Annual Partners General Meeting (APGM) on 28 to 29 March 2018 and a funding strategy for the campaign beyond June 2018.
Sakina, who is the Secretariat, facilitated reflections on success achievements made by the campaign this past 2 years. It included outlining what worked well – the existence of processes and content for the campaign, finalizing and launching Shadow framework, securing funding from Networking HIV/AIDS Community of Southern Africa (NACOSA) and Amplify Change, provincial engagements and completing the National Strategic Planning on Gender-Based Violence (NSP GBV) & presenting it to local Department of Social Development. Challenges include – lack of participation and response to emails by some task team members, advocacy buy-in on Framework, structure and communication, commitment by partners, funding for more advocacy, meetings with national government departments and defined task team/membership role and responsibility. It was then noted that there needs to be changes in re-committing to the project and implementing tasks allocated, re-engaging task team members with relevant stakeholders and partners, taking ownership, exploring more funding opportunities and having concrete advocacy strategies.
Looking at the current state of the campaign, Task Team members gave a report and analysis of the successes and challenges – echoing similar issues raised in the reflections. Through suggestions on comprehensive strategies which can leverage the campaign forward and target influential people, it was concluded that:
- Develop a 1-pager with 3 – 4 key messages from the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence Shadow Framework
- Lobby and advocate with different stakeholders at identified platforms such as National Department of Social Development, Ministry of Women, Deputy President’s Office, Treasury
- Have consistent communication at all levels and documentation of the work done
Apart from this, the Secretariat reminded everyone of the importance to end violence in the spaces they work in – significant to this issue is power. For example; interrogating the concept of power and its operations, integrating one’s personal and professional values through team building platforms, providing safe spaces educational and sensitization workshops to raise awareness on GBV and supporting colleagues who are victims of violence in the workplace (even if this means exploring legal options). As civil society, we must make use of policy in our quest to end violence therefore it was agreed upon to look at government entities such as Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation with Department of Social Development in reviewing the state’s response to GBV.
Task Team members listen attentively during one of the sessions
Photo credit: Secretariat
On the 16th of February 2018 was the Provincial Coordinators strategic planning meeting which was attended by Western Cape, Mpumalanga, Kwa-Zulu Natal and North West provinces. WACI Health was represented in this meeting. Purpose for this meeting was for the task team and provincial coordinators to give an account of challenges and successes they have encountered regarding NSPGBV work done at provincial level. For instance, Western Cape has taken the campaign to the local radio station Zibonele. They further articulated the need for consistency in messaging, strong media presence and advocacy. Secretariat emphasised that the SGVC is not about money – we don’t give funds. Its heart and soul activism. Mpumalanga has been actively involved in shelter programs. North West cited experiencing some challenges in communicating with partners whereas Northern cape highlighted the pulling out of funders and the importance of people sensitization on GBV issues. From these and other issues recorded, a work plan was developed as a way forward for the campaign and recommendations were made ahead of the AGM in March 2018.