It is critical to empower youth feminist voices in the fight for the prevention of gender-based violence and gender inequality, and promote inclusive youth participation in addressing social and political issues facing young people in South Africa.
In partnership with the United Nations and Sonke Gender Justice, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is hosting an Imbizo in Soweto, Gauteng, on 10 August 2022, to bring together young women to ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and capacity to occupy spaces in gender-based violence prevention and the promotion of gender equality, through the implementation of the GBVF National Strategic Plan 6 Pillars.
It is also an opportunity to build solidarity through intersectional youth movements for social change; and to elevate intersectional young feminist voices in changing the discourse around youth participation in gender justice and the prevention of gendered violence at grassroots level.
The Imbizo will also facilitate an exchange between stakeholders on good practices and share challenges faced in decision making, by providing an opportunity to share feedback and recommendations. It will take the form of a plenary session, with speakers sharing their insights on the issues of inclusive youth feminist voices; while also amplifying youth feminist voices in the implementation of a GBVF National Strategic Plan.
The Soweto Imbizo is being held at a time of increased violence against women and children. According to South Africa’s first quarter crime statistics for 2022, increases in reports of children and women being murdered have shot up by 37.2% and 70.5% respectively; and 11 000 rapes were reported for the same period, reports ACTIVATE! Change Drivers.
“It is against this backdrop that we should think about the role young women play in the country today. We want to shine the light on inclusive feminist youth voices in the prevention of GBVF and promotion of gender equality, through the realisation and implementation of the 6 pillars identified in the National Gender-based Violence/ Femicide Strategic Plan of 2020."
The aims and objectives of the Imbizo are to empower the youth participation in this national policy through the involvement of intersectional youth voices in decision making and policy making spaces, including at grassroots level; and ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and capacity necessary to occupy spaces in gender-based violence prevention and in the promotion of gender equality.
The Imbizo will also facilitate an exchange between stakeholders on good practices; share challenges faced in decision making; and provide an opportunity to share feedback and recommendations.
Through the UN Youth Strategy, the rights of young people are protected, including their right to engagement on socio-political issues. The Strategy also stresses the United Nations’ commitment to promoting the engagement, participation, and advocacy of youth to ensure their voice is amplified.