Five women activists doing important work to end gender violence

The Daily Vox highlights five prolific women who are working to ensure that addressing violence against women remains a priority throughout the year. Our very own Kwezilomso Mbadazayo makes the list.

As the women’s rights and gender justice programmes manager for Oxfam South Africa, Kwezilomso Mbandazayo is vocal about how narratives concerning those who are affected by domestic and gender-based violence – particularly women – need to be changed.

“The state consistently wants to depoliticise the issue of gender-based violence – there is no real interest in getting to the actual causes and the things that enable domestic violence to continue,” she says.

By running programmes, workshops and other initiatives through Oxfam South Africa, Mbandazayo hopes to raise awareness of and resistance to issues of gender violence. She believes those who are affected should be enabled to empower themselves and remove themselves from harmful situations.

“Women are always painted as victims but are never empowered or afforded the agency to take control of their own revolt – the focus is always on someone needing to ‘save’ you … This narrative of being protected takes away from the fact that someone is perpetrating, and it’s the perpetration that needs to stop. Acts of resistance happen every day and through my work, through speaking out, that’s what I am trying to do.”

Read the full piece here to see more women making strides to stop gender based violence.