ACTIVATE! Hackathons finding solutions to gender-based violence (GBV)


RE: ACTIVATE! Hackathons finding solutions to gender-based violence (GBV)

09 August 2017

Reports of Deputy Minister of the Department of Education Mduduzi Manana physically assaulting Mandisa Duma at Cubana restaurant this past Sunday is reflective of a society that has normalised the abuse and brutalisation of women, girls and other vulnerable groups including the LGBTQIA+ community. Regardless of the identity of the perpetrator or the victim, South Africa must act to end gender-based violence. As we commemorate Women’s Day and pay homage to the women who fought tirelessly against the oppressive system of apartheid, it is incumbent upon us to stand in solidarity with the women of this country against perpetrators of gender-based violence.

In line with its strategic imperative of provoking alternative thinking and innovative ideas to address some of the most pertinent issues facing society, the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network has committed itself to coordinating a series of hackathons, webinars, imbizo’s and workshops throughout the country under the theme “Interconnectedness and Inclusivity”, with a pointed focus on gender-based violence as a point of departure.

ACTIVATE! Hackathons on gender-based violence represent an alternative strategy to promote multi-pronged approaches to address social challenges. An important element of ACTIVATE! Hackathons is its deliberate intention to create an enabling environment for multi-sectoral engagement and conversations aimed at exploring solutions to GBV.

To date Activators across six provinces in South Africa have collaborated with various stakeholders including the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Africa Unite, the SRC at Nelson Mandela University, Central University of and the South African Police to host ACTIVATE! Hackathons on GBV. In this light, Activators continue to actively and meaningfully contribute towards addressing pertinent issues facing society beyond rhetoric and complaining.

On the 25th of August ACTIVATE! Change Drivers in conjunction with Africa Unite and the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation will convene an ACTIVATE! Imbizo on GBV aimed at engaging the views of social activists, thought-leaders, experts and practitioners within the sexual health and gender rights sector. The Imbizo will further seek to encourage participants to share perspectives and experiences on alternative and unconventional strategies to address the challenge of GBV in South Africa.

The widespread killings of women in South Africa bear testament to the dire need for the country to critically deliberate upon the factors influencing gender-based violence and explore the possible solutions to the challenge. Although accurate statistics are difficult to obtain for many reasons (including the fact that most incidents of GBV are not reported) it is commonly acknowledged that South Africa has particularly high rates of GBV. The 2016 Demographic and Health Survey, based on data collected from respondents in 11,083 households representative of South Africa’s 55-million population, showed that 17% of younger women aged 18 to 24 had experienced violence from a partner in the 12 months before the survey – 2.1% described this as often, and 8% as sometimes – compared to 16.7% among women 65 years old and older.

Notwithstanding progress that has been made through policy and legal interventions, gender-based violence remains a pressing social concern in South Africa. While South Africa has come to witness much fury and outrage over the prevalence of GBV in society in general, much still needs to be done to drive community driven responses to this pressing challenge.


ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.


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For media related queries, please contact:

Zilungile Athenjwa Zimela

Communications/ P.R

Cell: 078 255 3378

E-mail: zilungile@localhost






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