Calling: Addressing Gender Based Violence by Empowering Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
My Calling is as a result of my passion for empowerment generally, and of women specifically. Due to the witnessing of inequality and abuse suffered by women during my youth, that still persist now, gender based violence has become my focus. This research-to-innovation thesis is hence grounded in this passion for the empowerment of women and has led to this impact-driven thesis focussing on the economic and integral empowerment of survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV).
Innovation Ecosystem: Stewarded by a leading South African Advocate for Gender Studies
I am in the process of developing my ecosystem. I currently have Lisa Vetten, a foremost advocate for gender issues in South Africa as my Steward. I am also engaging with various gender organisations such as UN Women (South Africa), Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre and various abuse shelters to become part of my ecosystem.
Integral Innovation: Towards an Integral Empowerment Tool
My reason to attend the Trans4m – Da Vinci PhD is that it is a programme that fully appreciates, not merely from a theoretical perspective, that developmental models need to be based on communities, circumstances, needs and location, amongst others. It also understands that one cannot be divorced from the community that you are working with. We are all, to varying degrees, governed by our history which frames our perceptions, our perspectives of our lives and the world and our choices. It respects the communities it works with by understanding the richness of their knowledge and experience and attempting to use this to address their core challenges.
I am currently engaging with a shelter in Durban to be my anchor organisation. The name of the organisation cannot be provided in order to protect the survivors of intimate partner violence. This shelter would allow me to work with the women who access their services. It would also mean that the organisation would have access to utilise the integral empowerment tool that is developed as part of the research-to-innovation process. This model will be co-created with the group of IPV survivors. I am also in the process of developing a holistic economic empowerment and personal empowerment tool for Tshwaranang Legal Advice Centre (TLAC). Although it is envisaged that the process with TLAC will not be concluded prior to the submission of my thesis, it could provide valuable insight.
Integral Impact: Envisioning a Tool to Change Youth Education to Prevent Future Gender Based Violence
The intention for this research-to-innovation has always been to enable me to work within the gender and youth empowerment environments. I believe that if we do not address patriarchal attitudes of both men and women the scourge of GBV will prevail. I hope the implementation of the integral development tool, amongst all youth, will in some way address these attitudes that oppress women. This tool will be pivotal for Sansara, my company.