Sonke Gender Justice

Established in 2006, Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke) is a South-African NGO that strives to prevent domestic and sexual violence, reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS and promote gender equality and human rights. Based in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Bushbuckridge, Sonke’s staff work in all of South Africa’s nine provinces, in nearly twenty countries across Southern, East, Central and West Africa, and globally, especially in partnership with United Nations agencies, members of the MenEngage Alliance and a range of other international networks and affiliates.

Sonke recognises that effecting sustained change to gender roles and relations requires addressing the forces that shape individual attitudes and community norms and practices – traditions and cultures, government policies, laws and institutions, civil society organisations, the media and the family – as well as underling economic, political and social pressures.

Effective responses to gender-based violence and HIV and AIDS require organisations to develop multifaceted strategies and build relationships with both traditional and non-traditional partners.  Thus Sonke works closely with a range of organisations and individuals, including women’s rights organisations, social movements, trade unions, government departments, sports associations, faith-based organisations, media organisations, university research units and human rights advocates.  Sonke recognises the importance of engaged and empowered citizen activism that can both support and hold government accountable.

Given this understanding of social change, Sonke uses a broad range of change strategies to promote gender equality including:

  • Partnering with government to promote policy development and effective implementation;
  • Advocacy, activism and community mobilisation;
  • Networking and coalition work nationally and internationally;
  • Capacity building and training with partner organisations;
  • Innovative communication strategies for social change;
  • Community education;
  • Individual skills building;
  • Research and monitoring and evaluation.