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From 2013 to 2015, Gender Links worked with 1500 survivors of gender violence in ten Southern African countries to reclaim their lives through a ground breaking life skills and entrepreneurship training programme anchored by 100 Centres of Excellence for Gender in Local Government. During the 2016 Season of Giving, that includes the Sixteen Days of Activism, we seek to expand this programme through public giving. For $1000 or R15000 you can change a life and work with us to break the cycle of violence! We aim to raise $100 000 which will reach 100 more women, and expand this to 1000 more women in 2017.


From despair to hope: Ending violence, empowering women

The prevalence of Gender Based Violence (GBV) continues to undermine the personal and public lives of women in abusive relationships. Economic dependence on abusive partners is the primary reason that women stay in such relationships. The combination of economic vulnerability and abuse often provides few choices for these women. Many stay in these relationships because of perceived financial security provided by the abusive partner.

Economic justice starts with ensuring that resources and strategies adequately serve women’s needs.  This includes: government’s proving gender sensitive budgeting, girls’ education a key priority and research for evidence based policies and laws. Institutions need to provide financing and support. Civil society and business need to provide support and training for women entrepreneurs.  It is this final element to which GL has developed a specific response.

During 2013 Gender Links piloted a programme called Empower Women: End Violence which involved 1500 survivors in 10 countries in the SADC region. The programme demonstrated that GVB can be substantially reduced or eliminated by the financial empowerment of survivors. This programme has been renamed the Sunrise Campaign. Sunrise symbolises a new day, the chance of a new beginning. It also symbolises strength: the power of women reclaiming their lives.

The project provides women with the tools to make alternative long-term choices and sets out to increase women’s agency and independence. Thereafter the program focuses on supporting women to develop their businesses through providing access to finance, education and support.

The programme is supported by the over 100 Centres of Excellence for Gender in Local Government. Mentors are selected from both the local council and from existing business men and women within the district, enabling the new entrepreneur to have an accessible advisor to support them over their initial 6 months business development phase. Click here to read more about the programme.

What the programme costs

The cost for training and mentoring one survivor to financial independence is R15 000 or or $1000

What the programme has achieved

85% of the women said they experienced much less or no abuse once they completed the programme.  They also stated that their status in the family improved, enabling them to participate in decision making.  93% of survivors found that home life was greatly improved.

Success: Improved Business Abilities


Donate from anywhere

Gender Links also works with the Social Justice Initiative (SJI) in South Africa who are willing to match funds donated by South Africans. Please do enter your address on the donation form so we can tally up the South African Donations for SJI. Please donate through the Gender Links online payment gateway.

Donate in the US

Charities Aid Foundation CAFGender Links works in partnership with CAF America.  CAF offers global grant-making & philanthropic advisory services to corporations, foundations, and individuals.  This link should be used by Americans who wish to gain at US 501(c)(3) public charity tax incentive.