Africa Legal Aid (AFLA) and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) are proud to announce their collaboration in hosting an insightful and critical symposium focused on Preventing Gender-Based Violence in Southern Africa. Working with our partners from UN Women, the Embassy of Sweden, the Embassy of the Netherlands and with the support of Ford Foundation, the event aims to engage key stakeholders, activists, scholars, policymakers, and community leaders to address the urgent issue of gender-based violence (GBV) in Southern Africa.
Considered the most peaceful region in Africa, Southern Africa's general peacefulness is not as positive as it seems. Despite the absence of armed conflict, another conflict is taking place, that of countries at war with its women. A recent study by World Population Review placed Botswana, Lesotho, and South Africa as the top three countries with the highest rape rates in the world.
This collaborative symposium by AFLA and CSVR will shed light on the various dimensions of GBV in the Southern African context, fostering a nuanced understanding of the root causes, challenges, and potential solutions. The organisations involved believe that a comprehensive approach involving legal, societal, and policy dimensions is crucial to creating lasting change.
The symposium will feature a series of insightful panel discussions, interactive sessions, and presentations all aimed at fostering productive dialogue and knowledge exchange. Renowned experts and thought leaders in the fields of law, human rights and gender studies will come together to share their expertise and experiences in Botswana, Lesotho, and South Africa.
Speakers include the National Director of Public Prosecutions of South Africa, the Executive Director of Lawyers against Abuse, the Secretary-General of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, H.E. Judge Sanji Monageng, Former Judge and First Vice President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and now High Commissioner for the High Commission of Botswana, and many more including representatives from our partner organisations.
Evelyn A. Ankumah, Executive Director of Africa Legal Aid, emphasised, 'Addressing gender-based violence requires a multidisciplinary effort, and we are very pleased to partner with CSVR and our partners to create a space for collaboration and dialogue. By bringing together diverse perspectives, we hope to develop actionable strategies to prevent GBV and support survivors in the Southern African context.'
Annah Moyo-Kupeta, Executive Director of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, added, 'Our organisations share a common commitment to promoting human rights, social justice, and peace. Through this event, we aim to raise awareness, challenge existing norms, and influence policy changes that will contribute to eradicating gender-based violence in the region.'
The programme with list of speakers is available HERE.
About Africa Legal Aid:
Since its inception in 1995, AFLA has consistently worked to promote human rights and international justice in Africa. It plays a key role in espousing a victim-centred and gender-sensitive approach to justice by working with victims and vulnerable groups, whilst also working within national, regional, and international institutions with the aim of building an African continent that is ruled by just principles of law.
About Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation:
Founded in 1989, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation is an independent, non-profit organisation. It engages in research, community interventions, policy formation, service delivery, education, and training. In particular, CSVR undertakes targeted research and advocacy in partnership with civil society and affected communities in order to hold state, continental and global institutions accountable.
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