Mobilisation in the Battle against Gender-Based Violence in South Africa

December 2023

For the 13th consecutive year, the volunteers from the Women in Action (WiA) group rallied around the voiceless victims of abuse all around South Africa, bringing awareness on this scourge and availing themselves for counselling to all those who needed it. WiA is made up of wives of the pastors of the Universal Church who offer varied services to women in all the areas where the church has branches.

One of the projects driven by WiA involves trauma counselling and awareness on related issues, including the abuse of women and children. Volunteers were trained by professionals in the field to equip them with the skillset necessary to best assist victims of trauma and abuse, and they have dedicated themselves to the tireless work of combatting Gender-Based Violence in different parts of the African continent.

This work is done throughout the year, bringing hope, both physical and emotional support through counselling, and especially spiritual support, as many victims need inner healing because of the wounds they carry in their souls, wounds that were left by a traumatic experience they went through. These counselling sessions are free of charge, confidential and non-judgmental. All victims are treated with compassion and understanding. In these sessions, victims can talk openly about their experiences and thus begin their recovery process.

During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (which is a yearly campaign that takes place between 25 November and 10 December), the WiA group intensifies this work so that more women are reached. And this year was no different.In South Africa, WiA volunteers reached more than 12 thousand women in all 9 provinces. In addition to the counselling offered, information leaflets were distributed and women were able to obtain more information about their rights and about the signs of abuse.

More serious cases were referred to the relevant institutions. Recent statistics between June and September this year reveal alarming numbers, with 4,726 reported cases of sexual violence, which occurred in family environments, such as the victim's own home or the aggressor's residence, and generally involved family members, friends, or neighbours. There were also 1,514 attempted murders and 14,401 cases of physical assault, which targeted women. Because of these staggering numbers, the pastors' wives, (most of whom also experienced some kind of trauma or abuse in the past and overcame it), make themselves available daily, free of charge, to help those who were victims of any kind of trauma or abuse.

They also give these victims faith and hope so that they overcome past hurt, break the cycle of abuse, recognise their value, and learn how to move on with their lives and forge more wholesome, empowered futures.


16 Days of Activism 2021

The Women in Action volunteers in South Africa took a firm stand against gender-based violence. They evangelised on the streets, giving out fliers in support of the 16 days of Activism campaign. They also counselled women exposed to abuse, whether directly or indirectly to help them break the chains of abuse that have been binding many women's lives.


16 Days of Activism 2022 - Botswana

On the 25th November 2022, the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence commenced. The Woman in Action team availed themselves through counseling to help those going through any kind of violence, be it sexual, physical or emotional.  All of this was done with the aim of leading the victims to know that through God there is inner healing to overcome the wounds that are there.

During these days the UCKG Botswana went out into the community to raise awareness, joined by the YPG Mega Help project, they visited Kgale Hill Junior School and Gaborone Senior Secondary school to share testimonies of those who overcame violence and give counseling to the students.


16 Days of Activism 2017

In support of the 16 days of Activism, the WIA counsellors evangelised in the streets to raise awareness on gender-based violence. They counselled women and made them aware that there is a way out, they do not have to suffer in silence anymore.


WIA School Visits

The WIA team in collaboration with the YPG, visited Riverlea High School to bring awareness about trauma and abuse, with emphasis on bullying. They shared tips with the learners on what they can do to combat bullying.


WIA and Universal in Corrections

Every year during Women’s month, Women in Action (WiA) visit correctional centres, motivating those who are awaiting trial or have been sentenced to learn from their mistakes and assuring them that although they have been removed from society, they have not been forgotten.


The Women in Action teams visited the Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre in Pretoria, North End Correctional Centre in Port Elizabeth and Pollsmore Correctional Centre in Cape Town.


WIA Kenya - Visit to Orphanage in Kibera & Masaai Village

The WIA team in Kenya visited an orphanage in Kibera which is considered one of the biggest slums in Africa. They donated food parcels and enjoyed a fun-filled day with different activities.




In February, a young woman attracted the attention of the Woman in Action team on the streets of town in Lagos. Her poor physical appearance and downcast expression immediately moved them. When they approached her, she revealed that she was hungry and had not eaten in a while.