South Africa has one of the highest incidences of gender-based violence in the world; one in five South African women have suffered physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime*. In Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, this rate is nearly double the national average, with 56% of male residents admitting to committing a physical or sexually violent act against a woman. 60% of these individuals said they had done so multiple times.**
“Research has indicated that poverty, high unemployment and low levels of education are main contributors to the prevalence of gender-based violence. This is quite evident in Diepsloot, with only one in two male residents reporting full-time employment**,” says Banyana Mohajane, Adopt-a-School Foundation head of department: social and skills development.
On 03 August 2018, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation hosted a career expo in Diepsloot as part of its Thari programme, in response to concerns raised by local schools that learners lack knowledge about further education and career path options and the link low levels of education has to gender-based violence. Thari is a school-based programme that is implemented by Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation’s partner entity, Adopt-a-School Foundation, to address women and child abuse in schools and related communities.
The expo was attended by learners in grades 10, 11 and 12, and parents and educators from surrounding localities. Learners received information from tertiary education institutions, public sector organisations, bursary funds and private companies such as Rosebank College, City of Joburg Social Development, Bulidula Beads, the Department of Labour and MerSETA.
“The sad reality is that at least half the women living in Diepsloot experience violence on a regular basis,” says Bernice Maponyane, Adopt-a-School Foundation programme manager: social and skills development. “The challenges are complex; social and economic dominance by men and sexual entitlement are spurred by under education and dissatisfaction. ** This plague is one that can be fought with education,” she says.
“The fact remains, educated and employed men are far less likely to commit violence toward women; and educated and employed women are less likely to have violence committed against them by men,” says Mohajane. “This women’s month we are empowering the youth of Diepsloot with the knowledge to change the narrative and break the gender-based violence cycle,” she concludes.