Global Resources

Traditional leaders wield the power, and they are almost all men: the importance of involving traditional leaders in gender transformation

Author: Kristin Palitza
Publisher: Sonke Gender Justice Network
Publication Date: Oct 2010
How can non-governmental organisations (NGOs) tackle social issues such as HIV, gender equality and violence in rural African communities? A number of them, including Sonke Gender Justice network, the Ubuntu Institute, CARE International and Zambian Women for Change (WFC) are working with traditional leaders as a gateway to reach the people in communities they are targeting. This paper highlights the following areas of collaboration:
  • Addressing FGM through gender, rights and health
  • Tackling HIV in Southern Africa
  • Work with the Limpopo House of Traditional Leaders, South Africa
  • Work with leadership in Mabeskraal
  • Addressing harmful cultural practices in South Africa‚Äôs Eastern Cape
  • Work with traditional leaders in Zambia
These cases show how men and women have been engaged through the support of local leadership to take action in their homes and communities on a variety of health and gender-related issues.