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A Gender Conversation

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A Gender Conversation

20th March 2017

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One of the biggest challenges facing South Africans today are the high levels of gender inequality and gender based violence. South Africa faces some of the highest rates of gender based violence, and one in three women are raped in their life time. Furthermore, marginalized groups such as those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex (LGBTI) continue to face discrimination with many falling victim to violence and even death because of their gender and sexual orientation.

Since the year 2000 the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) has worked to help build fair, democratic and
inclusive communities across South Africa and the continent at large. Its goal is to fulfil the recommendations of
the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to take forward the work of community healing after our violent
apartheid past. In the early months of 2013, Anene Booysen and Reeva Steenkamp, were brutally murdered.

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Anene’s particularly brutal murder, and the perpetrator of Reeva’s killer being a South African sports celebrity resulted in high profile court cases which were widely publicised. Subsequently these trials brought national attention to the pervasive problem of gender based violence, sparking members within IJR to form a gender working group. Here members discussed how IJR could strengthen our gender work and explore the importance of gender work in the reconciliation project. In 2015 the Gender Justice and Reconciliation Project was officially born and set out to do focussed work on gender justice and reconciliation at IJR.

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