During the democratic transition, the South African women’s movement focused on creating governmental institutions for women’s empowerment. However, these institutions have not been sufficient to ensure social change. This chapter examines the stories of community leaders who are attempting to fill in the gaps and to address gender-based violence, as well as the stories of community organizers, religious leaders, and tradition leaders who challenge patterns of violence in homes, relationships, and communities. Relying on individual leaders and policy advocates is a tenuous model, given that success is linked to people rather than institutions, and people are not permanent. Similarly, while many community leaders break with “traditional” ideas of male superiority, others continue to deploy these norms to the detriment of women’s empowerment.
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