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5000 USD have been awarded from the Take Back the Tech! Fund to four outstanding South African Women’s organisations that are set to make an impact on the high levels of violence against women in the country. The four different projects will work with young black women in townships, black lesbians, rural para-legals and survivors of violence to increase awareness, reporting of incidents, and help survivors of violence on their healing journey.


Justice and Women, (JAW) KwaZulu Natal: Building safe communities that protect and uphold the rights of women and children
JAW Gender Justice Paralegal Offices working in three rural areas will implement a monitoring and response system using a cellphone based bulk messaging tool to facilitate access to information and service delivery for victims of gender based violence and sexual assault. The project will advocate to improved service delivery by the criminal justice system.

Forum for the Empowerment of Women (Gauteng): FEW tech voices
FEW will increase the capacity of young black lesbian women to use ICTs to speak out about and document incidences of violence against lesbian women. The project will report on the criminal justice system’s response to this violence by monitoring court cases where women have spoken out.

The New Women’s Movement Western Cape: Fighting Violence with ICTs
The New Women’s Movement will be working with young women in various townships and informal settlements of the Cape Peninsula. They will be training young women to become “watch dogs” on violence against women, and will be linking this with action research aimed at identifying local hot spots where violence happens. They will use cellphone technologies to create a network for identifying these trouble spots, and raise awareness and pressure for change.

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (Western Cape): Digital diaries of survivors of gender-based violence
The Saartjie Baartman Centre will facilitate the creation of video diary recordings of 5 women’s experiences of violence and survival. Participating women will be supported with skills and counselling and the project will also contribute to their own healing. The project will create platforms for sharing these stories in order to raise awareness about gender based violence and its consequences.

Reviewer Jennifer Radloff says “selecting the final projects was difficult as I wanted to select more to receive awards.” The small seed grants are being implemented in four South African organisations by Women’sNet, through the work the APC’s Women’s Programme (APC WNSP) is carrying out for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG3) in the Take Back the Tech! to End Violence Against Women project. The APC WNSP is working with local partners to implement the project in eleven other countries with support from the Dutch MDG3 Fund.

Aside from the impact the successful projects will have violence against women, it is also hoped that the Take Back the Tech! Small Grants will encourage other South African organisations and movements to reclaim information and communication technologies (ICTs) as a tool for movement building, networking, outreach and changing attitudes and behaviours as well as improving service delivery.

The Take Back the Tech! fund is a part of the APC women’s programme Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women project, which falls under the APC’s work towards achieving the third Millennium Development Goal on equality for women. A total of $20 000 dollars have been disbursed to twelve country partners for redistribution to local and grassroots organisations that are working with women and ICTs.

Photo by FEW

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