Around 40 faith-based organisations have formed a collective action group, Faith Action to End GBV

About

The Faith Action to End GBV Collective comprises faith-based organisations and individuals working together and in our own spaces to create a South Africa free from gender injustice and gender-based violence. The Faith Action to End GBV Collective creates an impactful, unified faith-based response to GBV, so that the faith sector can become a key player in the South African National Strategic Plan against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NSP on GBVF).

WWSOSA involvement

WWSOSA is one of a number of founding partners of the Faith Action Collective, coordinating joint projects, initiatives and advocacy. Together, we educate and equip faith communities to understand the causes and impact of gender-based violence and femicide through individuals, organisations and in the community, so they act to change themselves and bring change to their communities. We support faith leaders to play a meaningful role in multi-stakeholder initiatives to achieve the goals of the South African National Strategic Plan against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NSP on GBVF).

The Collective has the following three focus areas, which are taken forward by the following working groups:

Projects

The Faith Leadership Gender Transformation Programme (FLGTP)

This programme equips faith leaders to become agents of institutional change in their faith spaces to create a gender competent faith community. Pilot 1 of the FLGTP was initiated by WWSOSA, and conceptualised from the start as a collaborative project between WWSOSA Coalition members, and other partners have joined as the project was opened up to the Faith Action to End GBV Collective. Pilot 2 is underway and Pilot 3 will involve an interfaith movement with organised groupings in South Africa. It involves:

Trauma Accompaniment project

This project was developed to meet the huge need expressed by faith communities to be equipped to respond meaningfully to survivors in their midst in ways that avoid accidental secondary victimisation and are consistent with a human rights approach. It equips members of churches, faith institutions and faith-based organisations as First Responders and to offer ongoing counselling and pastoral support to survivors. The Trauma First Responder and Accompaniment Training for faith leaders has sparked much interest in these organised faith groupings and has begun a process of reflection and practical application of learnings in faith spaces. After successful pilots, we run trainings in different provinces of South Africa as well as online for faith leaders.

120-Day Communications Campaign: #faithingenderjustice

A bold 120-Day Campaign under the theme of #faithingenderjustice made use of mainstream and online media, social media and online spaces, including safe spaces for dialogue. It was focused on shifting the faith narrative to replace patriarchal discourses in South Africa with those that promote gender equality, mutuality and a call to end GBV. Targeted messages challenged masculinity and highlilghted the role of the faith sector in turning the tide on GBVF. We made use of mainstream and online media, social media and online spaces, including safe spaces for dialogue. A series of graphics challenged gender norms and achieved widespread dialogue on social media. An exciting campaign, it drew on members of WWSOSA, the Faith Action Collective and raised the voices of survivors, youth and faith leaders.