CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 20-26 NOVEMBER
This week — 16 Days of Activism, journalists of Africa converge in Joburg, ‘Beat Drums for Palestine’
This year marks the 25th anniversary of South Africa’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, raising awareness of the devastating impact of gender-based violence and femicide on women and children, and on our social fabric.
On Saturday, 25 November 2023, the 16 Days of Activism campaign will be launched in Mpumalanga, and is themed “Accelerating actions to end gender-based violence & femicide: leaving no one behind”. The sub-theme is “Safe access for women to clean water: a basic human right”.
This is a United Nations campaign, held annually from 25 November (International Day for No Violence Against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). Other key commemorative days in this period include World Aids Day on 1 December and the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on 3 December.
Monday, 20 November is World Children’s Day, and this year’s theme is “For every child, every right”.
“World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare,” the UN says.
It says 20 November was the date in 1959 on which the General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. “Mothers and fathers, teachers, nurses and doctors, government leaders and civil society activists, religious and community elders, corporate moguls and media professionals, as well as young people and children themselves, can play an important part in making World Children’s Day relevant for their societies, communities and nations.
“World Children’s Day offers each of us an inspirational entry point to advocate, promote and celebrate children’s rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children.”
On Monday, environmental and community groups across east Africa will hold a Global Day of Action calling on the Chinese government and key Chinese banks and insurers not to support the proposed East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) development. Solidarity actions will take place in South Africa, the US, France and the UK. Petitions will be delivered, and peaceful protests will be held outside key corporate headquarters and government offices in each location (details below).
The groups, all members of the StopEACOP campaign, are increasing their focus on Chinese actors, including the state-owned China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, the Export-Import Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. This shift comes in response to reports that Chinese firms are considering stepping in to back EACOP after numerous other banks and insurers – mostly American and European – have committed not to do so, citing environmental and human rights concerns. The groups are urging China and Chinese firms not to be a “last resort” for a project with such a devastating social and environmental impact on Africa.
On Monday, at 3pm, the Migration Governance Reform in Africa programme of the New South Institute invites you to a webinar on migration trends and possibilities in Africa.
From Monday to Wednesday, 20 to 22 November, the African Investigative Journalism Conference (AIJC) 2023 will take place.
With more than 140 speakers, more than 80 sessions and an array of thought-provoking themes, AIJC 2023 is a chance to engage with the brightest minds in investigative journalism, gain valuable insights into the future of the industry, become equipped with the latest tools and techniques and connect with the best in the business.
Venue: Science Stadium, Wits University West Campus, Johannesburg, South Africa. Host: Wits Centre for Journalism.
Key features: African Investigative Journalist of the Year 2023 will be announced during the conference; explore best practices, celebrate women in investigative journalism, learn new tools and delve into crucial topics such as keeping yourself safe and media sustainability; the Bellingcat team will host a geolocation training session and a panel discussion alongside the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Cenozo network of investigative journalists.
On Monday, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, Human Rights Watch researchers and Code for Africa data analysts will host an event on the sidelines of the African Investigative Journalism Conference, to put a spotlight on human rights abuse.
On Tuesday, 21 November from 12pm to 2pm, the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Faith and Community and the Tshwane Ecumenical Leadership Forum will host a discussion, “No Peace without justice: Palestine, Israel and South African Christians Today”, led by Father Michael Weeder, priest, poet and raconteur.
The venue is St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.
On Tuesday, 21 November at 1pm, the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape, will host a seminar by Cyriaque Hakizimana on the complexities of youth land access in Mount Kenya, uncovering the generational challenges in land scarcity in Kenya.
From Wednesday to Friday, 22 to 24 November, the Human Rights Defenders Summit will take place in Windhoek, Namibia.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9am to 4.30pm, the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce will host the SWEAT Summit at Protea Fire and Ice in Cape Town. Keep an eye on their social media for more information.
On Wednesday, from 9am to 3pm, TEDxJohannesburg, supported by the UN World Food Programme, will host a TEDx event on southern Africa’s high levels of food insecurity, with more than 60 million people hungry in 12 countries.
Experts will “share their insights and help bring effective solutions in the fight against hunger” at the event which will “present unconventional perspectives, cutting-edge research and inspiring success stories that challenge traditional thinking and explore new approaches to ending hunger across Africa”.
The speakers are from various sectors.
Venue: Ground floor, Wanderers Building, the Campus Office Park, corner of Sloane Street and Main Road, the Forum Bryanston, Johannesburg.
On Wednesday, at 12pm, Daily Maverick will host a webinar on “Enhancing Access: Court-Ordered Copyright Act Changes for the Blind and Visually Impaired”.
Join the session here.
On Wednesday, from 6pm to 8pm, Media Monitoring Africa will present the “Power of Laughter” with South African comedian and ventriloquist Chester Missing, who will be joined by comedians Bongani Dube and Lindy Johnson at the Goodman Gallery, 163 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood, Johannesburg.
“This show aims to highlight issues of media freedom in South Africa through comedy to allow audiences to engage with the sometimes difficult and seemingly out-of-reach issues that somehow have a significant impact on our lives. With the 2024 elections around the corner, shrinking newsrooms and a public broadcaster in perpetual trouble, our line-up of brilliant comedians will highlight what is really at stake here,” the organisers say.
On Thursday, 23 November, from 10am to 4pm, Sisonke Gender Justice, ActionAid and Generation G will host a symposium on unpaid care work in the Constitutional Hill Human Rights Precinct (Women’s Prison).
A panel will discuss the role of policymakers, the media and influencers can play in redefining how we see gender roles in society. The speakers include Dr Maud Blose, senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg.
RSVP to [email protected]
On Thursday, from 2pm to 4pm, the Wits University AmphiTheatre invites you to beat “Drums For Palestine”. They need 200 people and 200 drums.
Saturday, 25 November, the Triangle Project – a human rights NGO offering professional services to LGBTQIA+ communities – will host a “Learner Pride Fest”. Updates on social media.
On Saturday, from 9am to 1pm, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and other civil society organisations will host a summit on “Johannesburg – a City in Crisis” at the Sultan Bahu Centre in Mayfair, Johannesburg, to discuss actions that civil society and residents must take to get an effective and functional city government.
On Saturday, at 10am, there will be a picnic and a special reading of the illustrated children’s edition of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, from 10am in the garden at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton Estate. Pupils from St Catherine’s Convent will sing carols at the event, which is open to children between six and 12.
Confirm your attendance by email to [email protected].
Equal Education has released a research report on how school infrastructure affects teaching and learning. Read it here.
Vacancy alert: Doctors without Borders seeks the expertise of a records management officer based in Johannesburg, Maputo or Harare. Apply here.
Black Sash is recruiting an operations intern based in Cape Town. Apply here.
Open Secrets seeks an investigations intern and a campaigns intern.. The closing date is 26 November at 11.59pm. More information here.
To commemorate World Day for the Prevention of and Healing from Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Violence (18 November), Law For All released a report and guide to protecting children. Read it here. DM