Accepted paper:

Violence against women as a moral issue: faith based interventions in addressing the morality of violence against women in Cape Town


Fungai Chirongoma (University of Cape Town)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores how faith-based organizations understand violence against women as a moral issue that should be addressed from a moral perspective.

Paper long abstract:

There is a great deal of violence against women in Cape Town, South Africa. The State and most Non-Governmental Organizations understand violence against women as a legal issue which requires legal reforms, FBOs in Cape Town take a different perspective. Going beyond legal reform, FBOs propose religiously and culturally informed interventions. Violence is viewed as a sign of moral degeneration of the society, thus, addressing it becomes a moral duty. This paper aims to explore the core values of selected faith-based organizations in Cape Town to depict how they understand addressing violence as a moral obligation. Although FBOs acknowledge the importance of other interventions, they are motivated by the ineffectiveness of laws and policies that were put in place in South Africa to end violence against women. The South African government put in place the Domestic violence Act of 1998 and the Sexual Offences Act of 2001, yet cases of violence continue to increase. It is against this background that religious organizations promote the use of interventions that aim to uphold moral values, given their understanding of violence as a moral issue.

panel Rel08
Religious organizations as moral agents in urban Africa