Founded in 2006, Sonke is a womxn’s rights organisation that is committed to feminist principles, using a rights-based and gender-transformative approach to achieve human rights and gender
justice. Sonke’s foundation came about as a result of the shared understanding that violence against womxn and girls constitutes one of the gravest and most pervasive human rights violations and that
it undermines South Africa’s new democracy in far-reaching ways. A further driving motivation was a belief that the gender inequalities, gender norms and power relations underpinning domestic
and sexual violence are bad not only for womxn but also for men. Recognising that these norms, and the harmful perceptions of what it means to be a man or a womxn, encourage men to engage
in high-risk behaviours, Sonke was established with a firm conviction that men and boys have a critical contribution to make in ending violence, in transforming gender roles and ultimately in
being part of the solution to achieving gender justice.
In line with the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) motto, “Leave No One Behind”, Sonke prioritises work that improves the lives of the most marginalised populations, such
as refugees and migrants, sex workers, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and intersex community, prisoners and ex-offenders, people living with HIV, children and youth.
As a non-partisan civil society organisation, Sonke works with community-based organisations, faith-based organisations, UN agencies, media, academic institutions, government, international
non-governmental organisations (NGOs), private sector, multilateral agencies, international human rights bodies, development partners and intergovernmental agencies to achieve human rights and gender justice.