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Women Rights Program

Despite the progressive Constitution and commitment to the above instruments, weak monitoring and enforcement mechanisms mean that these laws have largely failed women and marginalized groups. In addition, there has been little to no investment by the state and public institutions in nurturing an alternative set of non-violent, non-patriarchal societal norms and values. The struggle for women’s rights is largely left to women’s organisations that face significant weakening as a result of donor withdrawal from the South Africa’s women’s rights sector.

The experience of women in South Africa is also impacted by a variety of factors including race, class and sexual orientation. These, and others, intersect to create differing vulnerabilities to violence and exclusion. AASA has a commitment to working with the most vulnerable women, this underpins our commitment to our LGBTIAQ work and work with migrant women and women living with disabilities.

There is no national women’s movement representing the needs and interests of the poorest and most marginalised women. Most trade unions, organisations and community structures remain male dominated, and so there is a need to build solidarity amongst women in the trade union movement, unemployed women and women in the informal sector.

Our goal as AASA is, as always, to identify the most marginal and vulnerable women, to bring our tested methodologies and theory of change to the field and to make a positive contribution to, and help to strengthen the Women’s Rights sector through our interventions across the fields of violence, economic justice, safe cities and any others that are identified throughout the strategy period.


  • Challenge and address violence against women and LGBTIAQ people in both private and public spaces.
  • Ensure the public sector provide free, quality and  gender responsive services to support women’s right social security and access to safe cities.
  • Promote the recognition of unpaid care work and facilitate women’s access to decent work and sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
  • Encourage solidarity and movement building among women and LGBTIAQ people at local, national and international levels.

Key actions

  • Campaign with and conduct feminist training to advance women’s and LGBTIAQ rights and reduce violence against women and hate crimes as well as increasing activism of issues such as gender inequality and unpaid care work.
  • Network with strategic stakeholders to influence social policy and legislation to ensure women’s access to gender responsive public services and safe cities.
  • Mobilise and organise young women and LGBTIAQ people, to build networks and solidarity within gender and feminist sectors, support the mobilisation of these networks around key campaign and advocacy opportunities related to all objectives above.


  • A cadre of feminist and LGBTIQ activists, particularly among young women, are capacitated, active and connected nationally and internationally able to advance women’s rights and hold duty bearers to account.
  • Public services are gender responsive and cities are safe for women.
  • Violence against women and hate crimes are reduced and the legislation is implemented to better serve women and LGBTIAQ people.

Social security policy and the National Development plan are responsive to the needs of women and LGBTIAQ people