Setting up partnerships to prevent gender-based violence 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, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Lead executing agency: South Africa: Department of Women Youth and Persons with Disabilities; Lesotho: Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation; Zambia: Provincial Administration – Southern Province
Overall term: 2017 to 2021

1_School-based prevention-South Africa


Gender-based violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a serious and widespread violation of human rights. In South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe the prevalence of VAWG is high by international comparison. Furthermore, it is widely accepted in society. In particular, domestic violence at the hands of a partner is rooted in the prevailing discriminatory 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 has 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, Zimbabwe 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 it also has 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 are impacted most from gender-based violence. In addition, the project also works with boys and men in order to bring about a comprehensive change in social gender norms in the partner countries.


Activities implemented through PfP flagships have reached approximately 35,000 people and are working to dismantle and change harmful socio-cultural norms as well as risk factors to prevent VAWG before it happens. At regional level, PfP hosted a regional conference with partners on “Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Southern Africa - From Evidence to Action”. This brought together more than 200 participants from 14 countries and from different sectors. These included development partners, government officials and parliamentarians, UN agencies, civil society organisations, researchers, media and private sector representatives, as well as traditional and religious leaders. The conference encouraged regional exchange and learning.

Moreover, PfP swiftly reacted to Covid-19. In cooperation with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Gender Unit, it produced a video describing the link between COVID-19 and gender-based violence (GBV). Further, in South Africa PfP has developed reporting guidelines on the gendered impact of Covid-19.

Last update: May 2021