Community Mobilization as a tool against sexual and gender-based violence in SADC region

Choolwe Muzyamba


SADC has continued to register high rates of Sexual and Gender-based Violence. This violence is usually in the form of physical aggression, psychological abuse, social exclusion, sexual coercion, rape, economic and legal violence. Evidence shows that women, adolescent girls, persons with disabilities, and the LGBTQIA2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and Two-Spirit) community are particularly at risk.

The mainstream mitigation strategies have traditionally focused on interventions that are necessary but not sufficient in addressing the unique conditions that perpetuate violence in the region. Community Mobilization has been suggested as useful response to this scourge. There is however lack of well documented evidence on the relevance of Community Mobilization as a tool against SGBV in SADC. This manuscript aims to fill these gaps by interrogating and documenting the relevance of Community Mobilization as a tool against SGBV in SADC. By doing so, it will also be providing grounds for creating better responses to this scourge.

Through a process of systematic literature review, our findings demonstrate that Community Mobilization contributed to creating a protective and transformative social environment to fight SGBV. The three elements of Community Mobilization provided the lens through which this transformation could be realistically imagined. More specifically, Community Mobilization created possibilities of combating SGBV through the following ways: a) by building collective agency, b) by utilizing locally available resources, c) by combating inequities, and d) by creating local ownership.

Keywords: Sexual and Gander-based violence, Community Mobilization

JEL Classification: H51, H52, H53

Download the working paper