Hivos Southern Africa

Southern Africa

Women's Empowerment

Day 4: Hivos caught up with Sixolile Mbalo; a survivor, author and GBV champion, at a conference in South Africa. Sixolile shares how she took back her life and made the best out of her situation. She shares how sharing her story has freed her from its negativity and her work helping others reclaim their lives after their violent experiences.

About Mbalo

"Mbalo’s book, Dear Bullet, is a jarring memoir of how she was raped, shot in the head and left for dead in a toilet by a man she knew in October 2001. She was 14.

Hivos Southern Africa in collaboration with Gateway Health Institute and the AIDS Foundation South Africa hosted a Networking Learning Discussion on Early and Forced Marriage. The dialogue titled: Child Marriage and Sugar Daddies held on Thursday 9 November 2017 featured youths from different institutions in South Africa. The main aim of the dialogue session was to create spaces for youth organizations and individuals to network and take steps towards ending child marriages in the region.

Culture and religion play a big role in how society reacts towards Gender Based Violence (GBV). Patriarchal systems stem mainly from cultural and religious values and as such in their observance and practice make it difficult for members of society that experience GBV to seek punishment for perpetrators. Women often are the ones to justify domestic violence and make efforts to try and cover up the violence or seek non judiciary solutions or interventions.

In a digital society, friends and enemies are made all over the world via social sites and relationships are solidified or broken by 'hashtags' or 'selfies'. While online media has served many well, there has been a tragic global increase of its misuse through online victimization and gender targeted attacks. Perpetrators no longer need to look in the eyes of their victims as they spew violent, emotionally and sexually charged speech.


Hivos joins the rest of the world in the commemoration of 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV), a time when we stop and reflect on GBV and how we are working towards making it end, how society deals with victims and in what new forms it has shown itself in a continuously evolving world.

Politics has a bad reputation in Lebanon. But one Hivos partner is working to encourage women’s political participation by addressing political apathy and disinterest in young people.

Hivos under the Women Empowered for Leadership program held a linking and learning event on the 6th and 7th of October 2017 at the Meikles Hotel in Harare.

Hivos hosted a Female Independent Candidate Dialogue organised by Women Politician's Incubator Zimbabwe (WOPIZ) and Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU). The dialogue held on Wednesday 27 September 2017 aimed to give female independent candidates a platform to meet fellow candidates, the media and potential partners and discuss ways to increase their visibility and voter mobilisation.

Child marriage disproportionately affects young girls, who are much more likely to be married as children than young boys. The latest international estimates indicate that worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children. Seventeen percent of them, or 125 million, live in Africa. Approximately 39 per cent of girls in sub-Saharan Africa are married before the age of 18 (Girls Not Brides 2015).

Gender Links, Hivos’ partner under the Women Empowered for Leadership (WE4L), launched the 9th edition of the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer as part of the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance. The colorful launch at the Sheraton Hotel was a side event of the 37th SADC Summit hosted by South Africa in its capital Pretoria. Representatives from 15 SADC member countries of the alliance and development partners attended the launch of the 2017 Barometer.