Social and Health Sciences 2024-07-18T13:50:44+00:00 Nick Malherbe Open Journal Systems <p><strong>Hybrid Open Access</strong></p> <p>Social and Health Sciences (formerly the African Safety Promotion: A Journal of Injury and Violence Prevention) is a multidisciplinary forum for critical discussion and debate among scholars, practitioners, activists, students and policy-makers whose interests and work intersect with the social and health sciences. The journal welcomes theoretical, empirical, applied and policy submissions on such topics as: violence in its multiple forms, injury, health and safety promotion, community engagement, epidemiology, health economics, health systems research, structural and social determinants of health, and knowledge production in the social and health sciences.</p> Editorial Special Issue: Reflections on Un-Settling and Producing Knowledge on Gendered and Sexual Violence 2024-06-10T09:57:25+00:00 Haile Matutu Tumi Mpofu Floretta Boonzaier 2024-07-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press Questions For My Mother 2023-03-08T22:30:51+00:00 Masoodah Mohamed 2023-06-19T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2023 Social and Health Sciences Cohabiting Relationships as Matula for Young Women and Grounds for Intimate Partner Violence: A Critical Feminist Perspective 2023-03-21T09:37:14+00:00 Matamela Makongoza Peace Kiguwa Simangele Mayisela <p>In this article, we critically reflect on the literature on intimate partner violence and the importance of an African feminist lens to understanding the influence of cultural discourse and practice in cohabitating relationships. We focus on intimate partner violence experienced by black young women in cohabiting relationships among the Vhavenda cultural group in South Africa. We reflect on the concept of <em>matula</em>, which views and constructs cohabitation as a taboo practice. We ask: what does it mean to intervene and respond to incidences of intimate violence in a relationship that is already socially and culturally negated? We interrogate the relevance of African feminist epistemology that prioritises cultural beliefs, customs, traditions, values and behaviour. Such epistemology, we argue, reflects the importance of thinking of gender and gender-based violence in the context of culture as dynamic and constantly negotiated by community members. Lastly, we explore the relevance of the African feminist perspective as part of the work of disrupting essentialising cultural and traditional practices that function to entrench gendered power dynamics. This study is conceptualised from a qualitative approach with in-depth, unstructured one-on-one interviews. Ten interviews with young women between the ages of 18 and 24 years were conducted through the Thohoyandou Victim Empowerment Programme in the Vhembe District, South Africa.</p> 2024-06-19T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press Reflecting on Responses to Women With Disabilities’ Experiences of Gender-Based Violence in South Africa 2023-04-16T17:32:08+00:00 Sisa Ngabaza <p>South Africa is renowned for its most progressive constitution. One that upholds the rights and protection of all its citizens, yet the country is one of the most violent communities for women to live in, and more so if they have a disability. Gender-based violence is a concern, and women in South Africa live in perpetual fear of attack. Gender-based violence advocacy on a global and national scale rarely includes women with disabilities, yet higher numbers of women with disabilities are affected by violence than women and girls without. In this article, I draw on work done with women with disabilities in some South African communities to reflect on how the experiences of women with disabilities who have experienced gender-based violence are made invisible. This reflection problematises this “invisibilisation”, arguing that leaving women with disabilities out of work on gender-based violence, threatens efforts to respond to their experiences of violence.</p> 2024-06-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press Challenging Heteropatriarchy: The Contribution of Visual Activism to a South African Lesbian Standpoint 2024-03-12T07:55:35+00:00 Claire Stephanie Westman <p>Much of how sexual violence against Black lesbian women in South Africa comes to be understood is through narratives that position them as perpetual victims, as women without agency, and as disembodied beings. Their lived experiences and voices become lost in this narrative of violence. However, a counter-narrative has emerged in South Africa, particularly through visual activism. Such activism plays an important role in recognising the lived experiences of queer South African individuals, creating awareness of issues affecting queer communities, and giving voice to those who are often silenced by hegemonic narratives and discourses. Although research has and continues to be done related to visual activism, this article aims to explore the ways in which visual activism contributes to a feminist standpoint that is specifically South African and begins from the voices of those who are most marginalised. Such a standpoint has the possibility of illuminating heteropatriarchal systems of power that contribute to the oppression of and violence towards Black lesbian women, queer individuals, and women more generally. In this article, I argue that a standpoint that incorporates the voices of Black lesbian women, particularly as they emerge through visual activism, is useful for understanding knowledge of violence in South Africa and for challenging dominant ideologies and systems of power.</p> 2024-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press Two-Way Learning: A Model for Decolonising Feminist Leadership and Advocacy 2024-03-12T07:55:30+00:00 Chay Brown Shirleen Campbell Carmel Simpson Maree Corbo <p>“Two-way learning” has come to be conceptualised as a collaboration between Indigenous and Western knowledges, which redresses historical power imbalances to create a culture of meaningful collaboration. The Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group provides a case study in which the principle of two-learning drives Indigenist feminist leadership and work to prevent violence against women. The Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group consists of Aboriginal women working to end family violence and bring visibility to their experiences. The group works in Australia’s Northern Territory, which has some of the highest rates of violence against women in the world. These women have applied the concept of two-way learning to their primary prevention projects: “Girls Can Boys Can” and “Old Ways are Strong”. The “Girls Can Boys Can” project created gender-equitable and anti-racist messaging and resources for early years educators. “Old Ways are Strong” developed animations to challenge the pervasive idea that violence against women is a part of traditional Aboriginal cultures. Both projects aimed to increase strengths-based representations of Aboriginal people. Both projects were evaluated which indicated that they were having some success in shifting attitudes and beliefs which drive violence against women. In this article, we will present the work of the Tangentyere Women’s Family Safety Group to prevent violence against women and will argue that “two-way learning” is an important principle to strengthen feminist movements.</p> 2024-03-12T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press “We Have Been Saying This for Thirty Years!”: Exploring Discursive Technologies of Disappearing African Feminist Knowledges 2024-06-06T09:26:41+00:00 Jane Bennett <p>One of the most difficult challenges facing African feminist knowledge production on gendered and sexual violence is its persistent erasure. Despite decades of rich, complex, multimodal and wide-ranging discourse on the meanings of gendered and sexual violence in contexts embedded in colonial legacies of racist and class-based systems, ideas as ordinary to African feminist activism as “rape is not sex; rape is violence” (a mantra of early Rape Crisis teaching in the late 1970s) get systematically “disappeared” by what Gqola calls “rape as a language”. In this article, I explore some of the agnotological technologies at work in disappearing key understandings of gendered and sexual violence, understandings developed through feminist activisms and research. The South African context informs the thinking, which entails rigorous concern with theorisations of gendered and sexual violence rooted in historical and contemporary discussions of race and racialisation. A key difference between Northern-oriented and Southern grapples with questions of gendered and sexual violence lies in Southern integrity regarding the death grip of colonialities and the concomitant epistemological imperative of revolution against these. In the article, I work with a group of participants based in the highly public and effective Western Cape Network on Violence Against Women together with a particular instance of gendered violence against women (Enhle Mbali’s accusation of domestic violence against Black Coffee, in 2021) where it is possible to watch the recirculation of ideas long debunked by African feminist activism. I argue for an approach to knowledge creation alert to the politics of “disappearance".</p> 2024-06-03T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press Article-Processing Fees and Subsidies: The Colonial Entanglement of Knowledge Production in South Africa—The Case of Gender-Based Violence Research 2024-05-28T09:36:09+00:00 Jessica Van den Brink Alexander Andrason <p>In this article, we studied the contribution of the current South African publishing ecosystem to the hierarchisation, elitism and monopolisation of knowledge production in social-justice studies, taking as an example the research area of gender-based violence (GBV). We examined the Sabinet database of articles published in South African journals on GBV between 2018 and 2022, and reviewed the pre- and post-production value chain related to the publication of these articles (especially the article page-fee structure and the governmental subsidy system). In addition, we couched this discussion in feminist decolonial critique. We conclude that the current publishing ecosystem—with the more or less active involvement and/or support of the government, journals and academics—greatly limits the diversity of voices able to contribute to the production of knowledge on GBV. This ecosystem hampers, minimises or even excludes the first-hand knowledge and experiences of those located outside of academic institutions (particularly, local researchers unaffiliated with South African universities, grassroot activists and members of non-governmental organisations). It conversely renders academics and the tertiary educational institutions which employ them as the only actors capable of benefiting financially from or contributing to the knowledge-production chain and, in return, feeding it. This cycle seems to propel the creation of an echo chamber of views, perspectives and opinions with academics and their tertiary educational institutions de facto acting as the only knowledge producers in the country. We propose that the solution to such an unjust situation is a radical decolonisation of the deeply epi-colonial South African publishing ecosystem.</p> 2024-05-27T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press Researching Violence, Researching Ourselves: Unsettling Knowledge Production on Gendered and Sexual Violence 2022-09-30T14:03:58+00:00 Aphiwe Mhlangulana Caron Zimri Khanyi Thusi Tumi Mpofu Lesedi Mosime Jude Daya Skye Chirape Kajal Carr Floretta Boonzaier Yuri Behari-Leak <p>The colonial nature in which academia has taken shape has meant that its practices of acquiring and producing knowledge are often violent towards those affected by sexual and gender-based violence. Shifting the praxis of how knowledge is understood and engaged in, means critiquing these traditionally colonial methods, as well as identifying new ways of engaging with academia and the framework of conducting research. Contributors of the Unsettling Knowledge Production on Gendered and Sexual Violence Project have undertaken this idea in their individual and collaborative work as a way to challenge, disrupt and change the sometimes violent nature of research on sexual and gender-based violence. These contributors believe that there is a responsibility for producing knowledge that is respectful and which contributes towards the goals of care, ethical engagement and social justice, from the inception of the research work through to its dissemination. In this article, we look at their reflections on what unsettling knowledge means for them as they simultaneously navigate and resist colonial structures within which their work still takes place. They describe their journeys within this unsettling and decolonial framing and how they try to enact it in their work on sexual and gender-based violence.</p> <p> </p> 2024-07-16T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2024 Unisa Press