The Nisaa Institute for Women's Development is committed to bridging that which can bring women together as a cohesive group and that which distinguishes each of us as individuals. It is dedicated to promoting and acknowledging women's self and collective empowerment and their contribution to politics, economics, and social-community based activities.
I will be working in Nisaa's Lenasia office during the month of September. I will be trained to teach a workshop on date rape to 10th and 11th grade students in Soweto, Lenasia, and Orange Farm schools. Nisaa offers numerous services including an emergency shelter for women and children, educational workshops and public awareness campaigns and counseling.
The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in located in Johannesburg, South Africa.The primary goal of the CSVR is to utilise its expertise in building reconciliation, democracy and a human rights culture within South African governance and society. As part of its reconciliation work, the Centre is active in generating policy in regard to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to deal with past abuses of human rights in South Africa. CSVR's work is rooted in an analysis of the shifting forms of conflict and violence within societies enduring a transition to democracy.
The Centre has many functions in the Jo'Burg community. CSVR uses its research to understand current policies and create new policies. CSVR is also active in lobbying for women's rights in South Africa's government. The organization publishes numerous research reports on topics including sexual violence and violence against women.
Current Project at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
I will be collecting public submissions for the Sexual Offences Bill. In Parliament they will be voting on the sexual offences bill in September. The first draft of the bill came from the Parliament and was considered a decent draft by CSVR. In South Africa after a bill is introduced the public is allowed to make oral and written submissions suggesting changes. There were several submissions made for the Sexual Offences Bill and then the bill moved on to the Cabinet. The cabinet reviewed the bill and made changes; the changes are supposed to be based on the public submissions. When the cabinet released the second bill it looked nothing at all like the first. The purpose of the new bill is to provide the highest level of protection for the victim. All of the protective clauses were deleted in the newest draft of the bill. My project will compare the two bills and then analyze the submissions to find out where the changes came from. Are the changes really what the public wants or did a few powerful groups (that are not representative) suggest the changes?