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Compassion In Kenya

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Compassion CBO

Compassion CBO, was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas of Kenya and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Survivors In DR Congo

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COFAPRI

COFAPRI is registered in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Rupublic of Congo The organisation empowers women through encouraging income-generating activities such as the rearing of livestock.

Grassroots News

Safe World Field Partner, work directly with issues such as poverty, health-care, marginalisation, FGM, child marriage, and education.

Asha Leresh

How Asha Survived the Unnecessary Cut

Asha’s luck came when Samuel Siriria Leadismo, the Director of Pastoralist Child Foundation and his team visited her village, creating awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual reproductive health....
Handwashing

Washing Hands to Improve Health in Rural DR Congo

COFAPRI organised handwashing sessions for school children and mothers in rural villages, with the aid of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education. The word has begun to spread as neighbours are now prompting each other to wash their hands.
Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Crucial for Women's Self-Reliance in Rural DR Congo

Increased security helps women become self-reliant and less financially dependent on their husbands. This improves the situation for the whole family and also means the women are less vulnerable to abuse.
Towards womens empowerment

DR Congo: Men's Inclusion in Women's Empowerment Benefits Everyone

It remains very important within communities for men and boys to be educated regarding the rights of women and girls, including their proper, fair and respectful treatment. When the women and girls become empowered, it is the whole community that benefits.
Margaret from Kiambu Support Group

Nairobi cancer survivor has hope at last

Margaret is among many women Compassion CBO trained in 2015. She has survived breast Cancer 2 times.

New Womens Magazine for Cameroon

The first edition of the Women for a Change Magazine is now available.

News, Interviews and Blogs

Under-reported issues affecting women and children. Exclusive interviews, articles and blogs by Safe World Correspondents and Content Partners

Compensation Claims Board 2

The Need for Victim Compensation Programmes - Pakistan and Globally

Globally, victim compensation programmes play a significant role in providing assistance to the victims of violence... however, in Pakistan we are lacking any such programme. It is high time to take serious note of the issue and develop a strong referral…
Lizzy and Victoria

Peace, Dialogue & the Ripple Effect: #RISING16 Global Peace Forum

Perhaps the most inspiring session for me came towards the end of the two days and was entitled ‘Bring back our girls – the forgotten victims of conflict’... We heard the CEO of International Alert, Harriet Lamb, and Victoria Nyanjura - who was kidnapped by…
Olutosin 2

Olutosin Adebowale: To America With Love

Once upon a time in my country, Nigeria, there was a ruler who was dreaded by many... We resisted and said No to every oppressive action or word to any weak or voiceless Nigerian... This is the time to stand firm on what has held the world together - Love.
Berlyne Ngwalem Ngwentah

Berlyne Ngwentah: 'The Biggest Cheerleaders of Women are Women'

All the most prominent, biggest community and feminist movements to alleviate the sufferings of women and girls and support women’s involvement in education and leadership have been championed mostly by women...
Jen 9

Promoting Misogyny, Zenophobia, and Bullying... is.... Nasty

I cannot ever vote for anyone who promotes misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, zenophobia, homophobia... It would be a mockery of my life... dishonoring my elders who have endured the many injustices of racial animosity, my friends who've experienced the same...
Women united

Women United for a Better Community in High Andean of Peru

“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the…

Demonstration against corrective rape | Photo: Str8talk Chronicle

By Koketso Moeti, Safe World S. Africa Correspondent, Feb 2012

Koketso MoetiKoketso Moeti is a project Coordinator at Operation: ROOIGRONDSouth Africa was the first country in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution, and the first African country to legalize same-sex marriage –  but in the inner townships horrific violence against lesbian women continues unabated.

The main aim of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000, was to promote real and meaningful equality in South Africa.

Because of our history, which has provided evidence of the tragedies and sheer horrors of inequality, equality is for us a fundamental value, upon which the South African constitution is based.

Our constitution is very clear that no one can face discrimination based on race, religion, gender, socio-economic status, and sexual orientation.

To further enhance the right to equality, the Equality Act establishes any Magistrates Court and High Court as Equality Courts –  where individuals can bring cases of unfair discrimination not only against private bodies and government, but also against individuals.

This says a lot about how seriously South Africa as a state takes equality.

Apart from its high regard to the right to equality, it is also notable that South Africa was the first country in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation in its constitution, and the first African country to legalize same-sex marriage –  making it an extremely progressive state to many all over the world.

In spite of this, in our townships, an evil lurks –  an evil that has come to be known as "Corrective Rape".

A “Cure” for Lesbians

"Corrective rape" –  a phenomena taking place in South Africa's townships,  is an act of violence against lesbian women committed by men to "cure" or "correct" lesbians of their sexual orientation.

This violent crime not only violates homosexual women's right to equality, but also their bodies, minds, and very beings, as well as their rights to human dignity, expression (by virtue of the danger of publicly expressing their homosexuality), freedom and security of their person, and in many cases, even their right to life, just to name a few injustices.

As such, "corrective rape" can be said to violate a number of fundamental rights under South Africa's 1996 laws, and denies women from enjoying a South Africa free from fear, hatred, and bigotry.

Brutality and Horror

The mere definition of "Corrective Rape", no matter how detailed, cannot completely describe the full horror of this phenomenon.

Eudy SimelaneEudy Simelane, a thirty-one-year-old lesbian from Kwa-Thema township outside Johannesburg, was attacked by a group of men who dragged her on the ground, gang raped her, and stabbed her twenty five times in the face, chest, and legs- dumping her body in a ditch where they left her to die.

Nokuthula Radebe, was a 20 year old lesbian who was raped and murdered, with her corpse discovered a mere four weeks after the murder of Noxolo Nogwaza.

Noxolo NogwazaNoxolo Nogwaza, a 24-year-old member of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee, a gay rights group, was gang raped, stabbed, and stoned to death, also in Kwa-Thema township.

Millicent GaikaMillicent Gaika was brutally beaten and raped for five hours by a man who continually told her he was "showing her how to be a woman".

And not just women, but girls, too,  are subject to this violence. A  13-year-old lesbian girl, open about her sexuality, was raped in Atteridgeville, Pretoria.

These few examples are not even a tip of the iceberg, but  provide a sense of the brutality in these homophobic attacks-which plague South Africa at alarming levels, and are still on the rise.

Constitution Fails Young, Black Lesbians

Without a doubt the rape and murder of any and all women is a tragedy; however, "corrective rape" is singled out in this article to illustrate that it is not only a criminal act, but also an affront to the constitutional values of freedom and equality by virtue of it being clear that the perpetrators fail to recognise that gay and lesbian rights are human and constitutional rights,  and as well, to illustrate how our justice system is failing these victims.

It is believed that "at least 500 lesbian women are victims of 'corrective rape' each year"  (Human Rights Watch, Country Summary: South Africa 3 [2010]), and yet, out of the thirty-one lesbian women who were reported murdered in homophobic attacks in a decade, there has been just one conviction.

It is clear that the South African Constitution –  which was formed to protect ALL South Africans, is badly failing young black lesbians.

NB: Despite the horrific nature of the crime, Millicent Gaika’s attacker was reportedly let out on R60 bail (R60 is less than 1USD).


Futher Reading

'Corrective Rape': Fighting a South African Scourge

Video

South African women fall victim to 'corrective rape'