News & events


“Transforming violent culture and building platforms for young women”

24 June 2014
12:30 - 15:30

“Transforming violent culture and building platforms for young
women” & Launch of Agenda Journal “Sex, gender and childhood”

Venue:  HSRC Videoconferencing (Durban/Pretoria/Cape Town)
Date: 24th June 2014
Time: 12H30 – 15.30

Chair:  Prof. Lebo Moletsane


1.  New Women’s Movement: Vainola Makan: Lessons in building young women’s voices in the women’s movement
2.  Project Empower:  Laura Washington: vulnerabilities of young girls (sex education and – protection).
3.  APC-Cape Town: Jenny Radloff: using technologies that empower/educate young Girls.
4.  Girls leading change: Students from The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
5.  Launch of the South Africa-Canada Partnership on Addressing Sexual Violence against-Girls Lebo Moletsane.

Agenda Journal Launch: “SEX, GENDER AND CHILDHOOD”
Chair:  Asha Moodley

1.     Kerry Frizelle: How media constructs vulnerable sexualities.
2.     Kelley Moult: Teaching and learning about sexuality.
3.     Prof. Pholoho Morojele – UKZN:  Children speak out: Gender and sexuality in treacherous school journey terrains

Transforming violent cultures and building platforms for young women:
Agenda feminist dialogues set out to provide a platform for information sharing and robust debate around important issues relating to gender inequalities and to develop effective and sustainable strategies that will counter the practices that discriminate on gender lines. As part of this initiative, the proposed feminist dialogue foregrounds the extreme levels of violence that girls and women encounter in families, communities (rural and urban), institutions, the workplace and the streets.

The issue of sexual violence and coercive sex is a pressing concern for our society as a whole and is exacerbated by the conservative gender regimes and practices that prevail. In rural areas it is frequently shaped by certain customary practices, particularly the taboos relating to discussing sex and sexual activity across generations. This often works to intensify the violence rural girls may experience.

There has been a growing acknowledgment of the importance of rethinking the understandings of gender violence and the sets of solutions that have been attempted to the present. In addition, it is crucial to attend to the lived experiences of young girls and boys, women and men, an aspect that has been largely missing in the design of interventions. Young girls, for example, inhabit diverse contexts and so they perform their sexuality under very different circumstances.

While they do experience inordinate levels of sexual violence they are also sexual beings. It is to them that we need to look to understand their desires, fears and their experiences of sexuality and of violence. Their experience of coercion goes beyond the physical to include emotional and financial pressures.
Within this context, Agenda is convening a dialogue to probe and debate these complex issues to better inform future interventions.

Kindly RSVP by 13th June 2014

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or
Durban :  First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or
Pretoria : HSRC, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:
Agenda : Shireen Ragunan Telephone (031) 3047001