Welcome to the 4th SA Violence Conference
Violence in Africa has been a growing concern especially in the area of Gender Based Violence (GBV). It has become a scourge that deeply affects individuals in all aspects of their lives, from physical and emotional trauma to mental and spiritual breakdown, with a high mortality rate. Violence and abuse in our communities have resulted in harmful impacts. Today, it is more apparent that there is a grave need to understand and address the root causes of violence to lessen and prevent the devastating impact they have on our society.
The 4th SA Violence Conference will give a platform for discussion, insight, and education in and around a central theme of exploring religion, culture, and men as resources to tackle abuse and violence in working together towards a violence free country.
We invite you to kick of your 16 days of activism by becoming knowledge sharers and change makers at this all-important event where we will create a positive change in health care for all.
Message from the Chair:
Dr Elizabeth Hoorn Petersen, Conference Chair
South African women live in one of the most religious yet most violent societies in the world. Even though gender-based violence was flagged as a national priority already in 1994 coupled with our much-lauded constitution and progressive gender equality legislative frameworks, acts of men’s violence against women has intensified in brutality to the point that South Africa was brought to a Total Shutdown on 1 August 2018 by a relentless civil society. In 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that GBV has becomes the shadow pandemic alongside the ruthless Covid19 pandemic. Researchers, GBV practitioners across various disciplines point to the need for more comprehensive and culturally informed solutions to GBV.
It is in this spirit that this conference seeks to address the root causes of gender-based violence with a particular focus on the role of religion, culture and men in creating a society free from GBV. My recent research has confirmed that to ignore religion, culture and men – which is at the core of the problem, is not only analytically and sociologically naïve but potentially fatal in contexts where religion and culture inform every aspect of life. While the GBV discourse has often amplified religion, culture and men as linked to the root of the problem, the public discourse is yet to engage the resources and potential cures from these same sources. I am excited to chair this conference to help facilitate this important discussion in the quest to find more comprehensive culturally informed solutions to GBV.
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