Partnerships for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Southern Africa (PfP)

Project description

Title: Partnerships for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Southern Africa (PfP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: South Africa, Lesotho and Zambia
Lead executing agency: South Africa: Department of Social Development; Lesotho: Ministry for Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation; Zambia: Provincial Administration – Southern Province
Overall term: 2017 to 2020

1_School-based prevention-South Africa


In Southern Africa, gender-based violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a serious and widespread violation of human rights. Women and girls are severely restricted in their access to social, political and economic life. The prevalence of VAWG in these countries is high by international comparison. Furthermore, it is widely accepted in society. In particular, domestic violence at the hands of a partner is encouraged by the prevailing social norms. Up to two thirds of all women in the countries of Southern Africa state that they have experienced physical and/or emotional violence, domestic violence by a male intimate partner being the most common form. At the same time, the institutional capacities for implementing and coordinating violence-prevention schemes have not yet been sufficiently expanded.


The cooperation between governmental, non-governmental and private-sector stakeholders on preventing VAWG in Southern Africa is improved.

4_Users of Nokaneng App-Lesotho


The extent of violence against women and girls in Southern Africa demands approaches that act on a broad scale. The programme assists governments, civil society organisations, private-sector companies, the media and universities in establishing multi-stakeholder partnerships. Together they implement flagship projects in South Africa, Lesotho and Zambia. These projects support new approaches that have been developed in their respective regions. They aim to prevent all forms of violence against women and girls.

For example, in Lesotho a smartphone app has been developed to inform women about their rights and provide an emergency function. A project in Zambia works with religious and traditional actors to raise awareness of the problems in this field. Cooperation with the media in South Africa aims to eliminate negative gender stereotypes and increase women’s representation in reporting activities.

The project’s target group is women and girls as those who suffer most from gender-specific violence. However, the project also works with boys and men in order to bring about a comprehensive change in social gender norms in the partner countries.


During its six-month start-up phase, the programme commissioned a study on the contexts in the three countries. This provided the basis for adapting measures to the specific situation in each country, identifying the action needed and setting up multi-stakeholder partnerships. The study took the form of an innovative network analysis investigating the quality of the networks for preventing VAWG in the three partner countries. Its recommendations fed into the advisory services for the political partners and the planning of the flagship projects. In addition, the programme supported initial interactive regional formats and identified topics for accompanying research.