People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA)
People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) was founded 29 years ago by a small group of women who volunteered to provide referral services and shelter to women who had experienced domestic violence.
Today, POWA continues to provide shelter for abused women and other frontline services such as counseling. POWA’s services have been expanded to include legal and advocacy support. More importantly, we are an organisation that has transformed its ideology that frames us as a women’s rights organisation engaging in policy reform and developmental addressing socio-economic and socio-political issues that affect women’s livelihoods. POWA aims to ‘open spaces for us as women in all our diversity to enjoy our fundamental human rights.’ In order to achieve this, we have structured our organization in a manner that allows us to engage with grassroots women’s groups and organizations in various provinces as well as engage and influence national institutional structures such as the legislature, regional forums such as the African Commission on People and Human Rights (ACPHR) and international forums such as the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
Our strategic approach is designed to ensure that women in South Africa enjoy the freedoms and rights guaranteed by the State. We work to ensure that such rights are not only domesticated and implemented, but also understood and accessed by all women living in South Africa.
- Shelter and counseling services for abused women
- Legal reform, legal advocacy, and support for survivors of violence against women and gender based violence
- Local, national, and regional advocacy for women’s rights including leadership of the One in 9 Campaign and membership in Solidarity for African Women’s Rights
- Women’s sector capacity building and rights trainings and rights education
- The One in Nine Campaign was
established in February 2006 at the start of the rape trial of Jacob
Zuma, to ensure the expression of solidarity with the woman in that
trial as well as other women who speak out about rape and sexual
- POWA currently has 7 physical working sites in Gauteng that provide counseling, sheltering, and legal support to women at face-to-face level. Through Legal services, counseling and shelters we reach over 5000 women a year
- We also have national reach and presence through our telephonic counselling, advocacy, public awareness and sector strengthening work.