CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 8-12 AUGUST
This week – civil society activist exchange, Women’s Day and a talk on climate change as a gendered issue
The Home, Hope and Humour Mini-festival of Theatre will run at the Avalon Theatre in Cape Town between 8 and 13 August; Rivonia Circle, in partnership with civil society and community organisers, is hosting an ‘activist exchange’ in Braamfontein, Johannesburg; and the Democracy Development Program, in partnership with the Mail & Guardian, is hosting a webinar on women’s visibility in South Africa.
On Monday, 8 August, the Home, Hope and Humour Mini-festival of Theatre will kick off at Avalon Theatre in the District Six Homecoming Centre, Caledon Street, Cape Town. It will run until Saturday, 13 August.
The festival involves three plays and one short film, written by playwright Mike van Graan – Country Duty, He Had It Coming, The New Abnormal and Some Mothers’ Sons.
Book tickets here.
On Monday at 1pm, the African Climate Reality Project will host a webinar on “Gender and Climate Change”.
“This webinar will explore why climate change is a gendered issue, and stories of hope from South Africa to Cameroon,” according to the event description.
Tuesday, 9 August is Women’s Day in South Africa. The observance pays tribute to the more than 20,000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 to protest against the extension of apartheid pass laws to women.
“Every year, in August, our country marks Women’s Month,” according to the government’s page on the event. “We will celebrate this year’s Women Month under the theme: ‘Women’s Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment: Building Back Better for Women’s Improved Resilience’.”
Tuesday is also International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. According to the United Nations (UN), 2022’s observance is about reclaiming the role of indigenous women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge.
“Indigenous women are the backbone of indigenous peoples’ communities and play a crucial role in the preservation and transmission of traditional ancestral knowledge. They have an integral collective and community role as carers of natural resources and keepers of scientific knowledge,” according to the UN.
Despite this, indigenous women often suffer from intersecting levels of discrimination on the basis of gender, class, socioeconomic status and ethnicity. Many indigenous women face high levels of poverty, limited access to health, credit and employment, and limited participation in political life.
“The reality… remains that indigenous women are widely underrepresented, disproportionately negatively affected by decisions made on their behalf, and are too frequently the victims of multiple expressions of discrimination and violence,” added the UN.
On Tuesday, 9 August, at 9am, Rivonia Circle will host an “activist exchange” in New Town in the Braamfontein precinct, Johannesburg.
The theme of the event is “The Power to Act”. Rivonia Circle has partnered with civil society and community organisers to bring together hundreds of people interested in seeing a better future for South Africa.
“We all have a role to play in creating the future we want, and the activist exchange will offer an opportunity to share ideas, co-create solutions and build capacity,” according to the event description.
“There will be many initiatives and many opportunities to get involved. We are providing a platform for meeting other change-makers and for everyone to become part of the solution.”
At 2pm, the activist exchange will culminate in a “Solidarity March” to the Constitution Hill precinct, to pay tribute to the Women’s March of 1956
On Tuesday at 10am, the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) Western Cape is hosting an event in commemoration of Women’s Day with the theme “Patriarchy in the Trade Unions and Workplace”. It will take place at Community House in Salt River, Cape Town.
On Tuesday at 11am, Africa Contemporary Art and Just Art International are hosting a walkabout of Elisa Iannacone’s photographic exhibition, The Spiral on Containment, at the Constitution Hill Human Rights Precinct in Braamfontein.
“Curator Kathy Berman will be there to provide insights into the 25 profoundly beautiful and uplifting portraits, images and soundscapes of survivors of sexual assault,” according to the event description.
The exhibition is in the isolation cells of Number 4 Prison, and has been extended until the end of August to mark Women’s Month.
Access to all exhibits at the precinct will be free on Women’s Day.
On Thursday, 11 August, at 9am, the Stellenbosch University (SU) Law Faculty short course on “Social Justice and the Law” will begin. It will run until 4pm, and again from 9am to 4pm on Friday.
The course is a three-unit module designed to “foster a common approach to social justice teaching and training through conceptual clarity and shared appreciation of constitutional and international obligations on social justice”, according to the event poster.
The facilitator of the course is Professor Thuli Madonsela, Law Trust Research Chair in Social Justice at SU, while the guest presenter is Dr Mary Nel.
For more information, contact Emile Vercuil at [email protected].
On Thursday at 10am, the Democracy Development Program, in partnership with the Mail & Guardian, will host a webinar on “Women’s visibility in South Africa: Political representation, economic emancipation, and the framework for decreasing the scourge of femicide and GBV”.
The webinar seeks to explore:
- Whether sufficient work has been done to ensure that gender equality has been mainstreamed in policymaking processes;
- The existing frameworks for dealing with the social challenges that are specifically experienced by women; and
- Whether women’s issues are truly understood through the intersectional lens.
Speakers include Lihle Ngcobhozi, lecturer in public governance, public policy and gendered approaches to development at the Wits School of Governance; Nhlakanipho Mahlangu, a research intern at the Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy at Nelson Mandela University; Hleliwe Khumalo, a PhD candidate in Community Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal; and Londiwe Mntambo, programme manager at Rivonia Circle.
On Thursday at 2pm, there will be a panel discussion launching the African Media Barometer 2021 in South Africa. The event will take place at Radisson Blu in Sandton, on the corner of Rivonia Road and Daisy Street.
“[The] barometer is a homegrown measurement system for national media environments in Africa, compiled using insights and experiences of media workers and civil society,” according to the event description.
Register for the event here. Registration closes on Monday, 8 August.
On Thursday at 4pm, Iranti will be hosting its first “leadership round-table” session, facilitated by Jabu Pereira, founder and former executive director of Iranti.
“The leadership round-table is a series of intergenerational and peer discussions hosted by Iranti as part of the organisation’s 10-year anniversary programming and leadership transition,” according to the event description.
“With movement-building being central to Iranti’s organisational strategy, the hope is that the round tables will open up a space for frank conversation about the challenges and opportunities facing our movement. Essentially, the big question we are trying to answer is what kind of leaders do we need today to build and sustain an LGBTIQ movement that will achieve the shared future that we imagine?”
Friday 12 August is International Youth Day. It aims to “amplify the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind”, says the UN.
Barriers to intergenerational solidarity, such as ageism, affect young and old persons and are detrimental to society.
“Ageism is an insidious and often an unaddressed issue in health, human rights and development, and has bearings on both older and younger populations around the world.”
“In addition, ageism regularly intersects with other forms of bias (such as racism and sexism) and impacts people in ways that prevent them [from reaching] their full potential and comprehensively contribute to their community.”
On Friday, 12 August, at 10am, President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead a District Development Model Presidential Imbizo to Sedibeng in Gauteng under the theme “Leave no one behind”. It will take place at the Sharpeville Cricket Pitch, next to the George Thabe Stadium.
At 1pm on Friday, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) is hosting a Facebook Friday talk on “What is self-care and why is it important?” The event will be livestreamed on Sadag’s Facebook page.
A fundraising campaign to help women who have been affected by gender-based violence (GBV) was recently launched by online volunteering platform, Forgood.
The campaign, which aims to raise R100,000, was launched in response to the gang-rape of eight women at a mine dump in Krugersdorp, West Rand, on 28 July.
The funds will go to Lawyers against Abuse, a non-profit organisation that provides free legal services and psychosocial support to victims of GBV.
“Our goal this year is to make Women’s Month count. With your help, we can ensure that victims of GBV are not further victimised by the justice system – and that their cases are heard and followed up on by the authorities,” said Romy Heldsinger, CEO at Forgood.
Find out more about the campaign here. DM/MC