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Report

Turning the Tide: The Role of Collective Action for Addressing Structural and Gender-based Violence in South Africa

Published on 1 February 2015

The case study discussed in this Evidence Report explores the value and limitations of collective action in challenging the community, political, social and economic institutions that reinforce harmful masculinities and gender norms related to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

As such, the concept of structural violence is used to locate SGBV in a social, economic and political context that draws histories of entrenched inequalities in South Africa into the present. The research findings reinforce a relational and constructed understanding of gender emphasising that gender norms can be reconfigured and positively transformed.

We argue that this transformation can be catalysed through networked and multidimensional strategies of collective action that engage the personal agency of men and women and their interpersonal relationships at multiple levels and across boundaries of social class, race and gender. This collectivity needs to be conscious of and engaged with the structural inequalities that deeply influence trajectories of change. Citizens and civil society must work with the institutions – political, religious, social and economic – that reinforce structural violence in order to ensure their accountability in ending SGBV.

Related files for download

  • ER118 Accompanying Brief
  • Cite this publication

    Mills, E.; Shahrokh, T.; Wheeler, J.; Black, G.; Cornelius, R. and van den Heever, L. (2015) Turning the Tide: The Role of Collective Action for Addressing Structural and Gender-based Violence in South Africa, IDS Evidence Report 118, Brighton: IDS

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    Authors

    Image of Thea Shahrokh

    Thea Shahrokh

    Research Officer

    Publication details

    published by
    IDS
    authors
    Mills, E., Shahrokh, T., Wheeler, J., Black, G., Cornelius, R. and van den Heever, L.
    journal
    IDS Evidence Report, issue 118
    language
    English

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