International Strategies and Research


To localise Gender Machineries


To Use Gender Machineries and instruments to eliminate violence against women and children from local to national level by gearing up local stakeholders to take charge and have ownership of the instruments

Objectives of International Strategies 2012

    1. Standardise gender machineries and instruments in all programs that are aimed to empower and develop our communities;
    2. To monitor and evaluate the implementation of all international instruments agreed on by all governments on issues pertaining to women and children;
    3. To build the capacity of the survivors, families, communities in dealing with the effects of violence and abuse against women and children;
    4. To lobby in both public and private sectors in upholding the rights of women and children;
    5. To advocate for the fulfilment of the rights of women and children through reviewing all existing legislations and by making submission to the relevant authorities;
    6. To challenge and change the mind-set of communities on issues of violence against women and childre

Objectives of Research 2012

  1. Evaluate the impact of the services offered by Ilitha Labantu
  2. Researching on laws and frameworks guiding the programs dealing with the elimination of violence and abuse against women and children;
  3. Collect and gather enough data and information to enhance programs, activities and operation standards of the organisation;


  1. Fully participate and provide support in programs initiated by Ilitha Labantu and other organisation in par with our objectives;
  2. Monitoring, analysing, sensitizing and reporting all form of media on messages pertaining to demeaning of the women’s image, dignity and self-worth;

Activities 2012/2013


The main aim for the research is to evaluate the impact of the gender machineries and instruments ratified by the South Africa government to combat violence against women and children; also evaluate Ilitha Labantu as a service provider that has been dealing with violence against women and children even prior the ratification of the gender machineries. The research will offer progress made by the machineries, instruments and also Ilitha Labantu as a CSO that has at the forefront.

The research will also measure impact of VAWC and the gender frameworks put in place to enhance and guide the elimination of VAWC.

Expected Outcomes of the Research

– Prevalence of VAWC;

-The number of people has experienced VAWC;

-The prevalence of Child Abuse in Schools and the number of children that have experienced Child Abuse

-Evaluation of impact of IL in community;

  1. International Strategies

The international strategies are aimed at localising the gender machineries and instruments ratified by the South African Government to combat violence against women and children. This program will host training workshops for different stakeholders and individual members of the community to inform them about these instruments, how they can apply and implement them to fight the scourge of violence against women and children

Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA)

In 1995 the newly elected democratic government participated in the Beijing Conference where the Platform for Action was adopted (BPFA). The BPFA “is an agenda for women’s empowerment”. Its aim, as stated earlier, was to accelerate the “implementation of the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women; and at removing all the obstacles to women’s active participation in all spheres of public and private life through a full and equal share in economic, social, cultural and political decision-making” (UN BPFA; 1995).

The BPFA has twelve areas of critical concern, namely:

  • Women and poverty
  • Education and training of women
  • Women and health
  • Violence against women
  • Women and armed conflict
  • Women and the economy
  • Women in power and decision-making
  • Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women
  • Human rights for women
  • Women and the media
  • Women and the environment
  • The Girl Child

The first step taken by Ilitha Labantu and other Non Governmental Organisations was to bring home the landmark results evidenced by the BPFA to its women and girl children in the nooks and crannies of the country. This was done by demystifying the contents through simplification and translation into local languages for better understanding of the grassroots community and holding of several workshops and seminars for public awareness raising purposes.

Ilitha Labantu in South Africa has been in the fore-front of ensuring the implementation of the BPFA and holding the Government accountable to the covenants made at the Conference. During the United Nations General Assembly’s Special Session year 2000, 178 Governments including the South African Government reviewed the commitments to the goals of gender equality and women empowerment made at the fourth World Conference on Women 1995 in Beijing, China.


The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as an international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination (UN CEDWA; 1995).

The Convention defines discrimination against women as “…any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.” By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms.

Ever since the adoption of the CEDWA by the South African government, Ilitha Labantu has used this instrument to broaden the definition of violence against women and all the forms of discrimination in our communities. They have hosted seminar and workshop on raising awareness on violence against women, and what strategies best to combat this social ill. Ilitha Labantu aims to conduct training workshops with faith-based organization, civil society organization, youth organizations, and individuals from the communities to raise awareness about violence against women and how to use the CEDWA so that they can contribute to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

SADC Declaration on Gender and Development

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Declaration on Gender and Development was signed by the SADC Heads of State on 8 September 1997. The Declaration acknowledges that “gender equality is a fundamental human right and that integration and mainstreaming of gender issues into the SADC Programme of Action and Community Building Initiative is key to the sustainable development of the SADC region” (SADC, 1997)

The protocol contains concrete, time-bound commitments aimed at protecting women’s rights and ensuring equality between women and men. It requires member states to: enshrine gender equality and equity in their constitutions; review, amend and repeal laws that discriminate on the ground of sex or gender; reduce maternal mortality by 75 percent; develop gender-sensitive strategies to prevent new HIV infections and ensure universal access to HIV and AIDS treatment; ensure gender parity in political representation; adopt policies and enact laws that would ensure equal access to economic resources by women and men; enact and enforce legislation prohibiting all forms of gender-based violence; and review and reform criminal laws applicable to cases of sexual offenses and gender-based violence by 2015.

The SADC gender protocol was a deviation from the Beijing Platform for Action, to focus on the challenges of that are encountered by the Southern African countries specifically.

Ilitha Labantu aims to conducted training workshops with faith-based organization, civil society organization, youth organizations, and individuals from the communities to raise awareness on the key areas of the protocol and the role that each stakeholder, organization and individual should contribute to ensure that South Africa protects women’s rights and ensures equality between women and men.

Commission on the Status of Women

Ilitha Labantu forms part of the Civil Society National delegation of the CSW conference every year. The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women. CSW is arranged annually to evaluate progress on gender equality, identify challenges, set global standards and formulate concrete policies to promote gender equality and advancement of women worldwide.

Ilitha Labantu organizes community dialogues, where the community and women at grassroots level discuss issues they encounter and recommend probable solutions. The report is thus presented at the CSW and the rest of the world. Ilitha Labantu acts as a voice for the voiceless. It has managed to host side events, involving the South African Ministers and other international Civil Society Organizations where international debates and dialogues on issues pertaining to women over a period of time and has been representing the country whole. Ilitha Labantu has participated in the CSW since the 53rd session until to-date. They are currently participating in workshops and seminars on the elimination of violence against women, as part of the report preparation for the next CSW session 57th in 2013.

Millennium Development Goals

Ilitha Labantu has been involved with the Millennium Development Goals since 2010. It has organized National Summits on MDGs with the aim to engage national and local constituency that are supposed to contribute in the implementation of the MDGs and forge a partnership between national and local government; and Civil Society to work together in achieving the MDGs. Ilitha Labantu’s involvement is to enable South Africa to achieve the MDG in the specified time frame, being 2015. Ilitha Labantu continues to localize the MDGs in our communities, with various stakeholders, so that they can all contribute towards the achievement of the MDGs by 2015.

The Bill of Human Rights

We have assumed that people are aware and know their rights, but it is of more concern to acknowledge that the drastic increase of abuse, crime, rape, domestic violence and many other forms of violation translate to the fact that most south Africans are not familiar with their rights, let alone how to apply these rights to work for them. Ilitha Labantu will then conduct community consultations to discover the knowledge of individuals in the community about their knowledge of their rights and how to use them. The consultations will also educate and empower the communities on the application of human rights and the responsibilities that comes with them.

The purpose of the human Rights bill is:

  1. recognize the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family;
  2. proclaim a common standard for achievement of basic human rights;
  3. recognize that human rights must be protected by the rule of law;
  4. affirm the principle that every person is free and equal in dignity and rights;
  5. recognize that the government, all public agencies and all persons in the Province have the responsibility to ensure that every individual in the Province is afforded an equal opportunity to enjoy a full and productive life and that failure to provide equality of opportunity threatens the status of all persons; and
  6. extend the statute law relating to human rights and provide for its effective administration

RIO+20 (Earth Summit)

The objective of the Earth Summit was secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.

The UNCSD Secretariat together with its partners has prepared a series of Rio+20Issues Briefs. The purpose of the Rio+20 Issues Briefs is to provide a channel for policymakers and other interested stakeholders to discuss and review issues relevant to the objective and themes of the conference, including a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, as well as the institutional framework for sustainable development. Ilitha Labantu participated in the Global Women’s Major Group submission which was submitted in response to the request for input by the Secretariat for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. This summary comprises the global Women’s Major Group submission.

Ilitha Labantu will continue to raise awareness in the preservation of the 7 critical issues discussed at the Earth Summit and will implement the resolutions agreed upon in the community level through workshops and seminars in all the provinces that Ilitha Labantu has offices.

The workshops aim to:

  • project the challenges and situation of South Africa’s Environmental State
  • engage the community in fighting global warming and the deteriorating environment
  • sensitise the communities on measures to protect the earth and save the environment for the generation after them
  • trainings on green economy projects and cooperatives;
  • raise awareness on environmental issues leading to less littering, safe water and electricity


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