WHAT WE DO
The GHJRU is an interdisciplinary research unit that unites scholars, NGOs and practitioners to develop and implement innovative, interdisciplinary research and social interventions on social exclusion and violence in a range of social, political and institutional settings. We have a proven history of empirical, evaluation and monitoring projects, many of which are well cited in the literature and are foundational studies in the areas of gender-based violence, sexual and gender minority rights, and reproductive rights. We use our empirical research to develop well-informed, evidence-based advocacy positions to support legal and policy reform in South Africa and similarly situated countries. Our research is almost exclusively conducted in interdisciplinary teams, frequently including NGOs and government departments. The Unit also has a well-established history of providing technical assistance to a wide range of implementing partners including government and NGOs.
The mission of the Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit is to improve service provision to victims of crime, violence and human rights violations, to facilitate violence prevention, and to promote access to justice in Southern and Eastern Africa through interdisciplinary research, advocacy and education.
The Unit aims to fulfil its mission by focussing on five core areas:
Research – Conducting rigorous, evidence-based research into experiences of victims and others involved in the criminal justice system, as well as responses to violence – particularly exploring the intersections between the health and criminal justice sectors – and developing a better theoretical understanding of the social factors that contribute to crime, violence and human rights violations.
Advocacy – Developing well-informed, evidence-based advocacy positions to support legal and policy reform in South Africa and similarly situated countries.
Education – Development of educational materials and teaching modules at both university and school levels, in order to create an understanding of the intersections of violence, social attitudes, service provision and violence prevention.
Training – Development and implementation of innovative training programmes to build the capacity of criminal justice and health personnel.
Technical Assistance – Providing technical assistance to a wide range of government departments, non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations.
The Gender, Health & Justice Research Unit draws together scholars from various disciplines, including criminology, forensic pathology, sociology, public health, social work and psychology.