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The GHJRU runs a comprehensive internship programme aimed at equipping young activists and scholars with skills, knowledge and experience in the field of gender-based violence. The programme runs throughout the year and draws a range of students, including both undergraduate and graduate students.

Successful applicants have already shown themselves to have an interest in the promotion of women’s human rights - and particularly the right to be free from violence - through the activities they have engaged in prior to applying. Most have a specific interest in criminal justice policy, public health, and women’s and feminist studies. The majority aim to continue working in this sector after they have graduated.

Interns apply either directly to the Unit or through a partnership arrangement with their university. Interns also apply to work at the Unit on an ad hoc basis and these applications are considered throughout the year. Such internships range from 10 weeks to a year. All interns participate fully in the work and activities of the Unit. These internships are unpaid and interns must be sure that they have sufficient financial means to support themselves for the internship period.

The GHJRU internship is focussed on three key areas: knowledge, skills and networking.

Knowledge:  As an intern, you will work closely with the staff at the Unit on the Unit’s current projects. Previous and on-going projects focus on sexual assault and domestic violence policy, services for survivors, gender-based violence education, sexual and gender minority health, teen sexuality and experiences of incarceration.

How you spend your time at the Unit will depend on your own institution’s requirements, as well as on the Unit’s operational requirements, but we envision that you will dedicate at least half of your time to Unit work. Interns may be assigned to a specific project as well as providing ad hoc research support to various projects, allowing you to broaden your knowledge in other areas.

Skills:  We place a substantial emphasis on the development of research skills, coupled with one-on-one supervision. Working within an interdisciplinary environment, you’ll be exposed to a range of methodologies and, depending on the projects you work on, you may be involved with legal research, interviewing various criminal justice or health sector professionals, observational work in police stations, hospitals or courts, transcription, and document analysis. You will also be expected to assist with administrative tasks as we are a small team without a dedicated administrator and all staff members do their share to keep things running smoothly.

Networking:  As an intern, the GHJRU will provide you with access to our networks of scholars and activists working on issues surrounding violence against women, and where appropriate, key government officials. We aim to select interns who have the potential to play a leading role in addressing violence against women within the South Africa, and globally. We hope to develop a lasting professional relationship with you by providing access to resources and networks to develop your skills as a researcher and advocate. We are committed to facilitating your understanding not only of the realities of women’s lives in South Africa, but also of the remarkable people who work to improve the quality of life for women and their families.


How to apply:

Send your CV and a recent sample of your written work to with a letter explaining:

  • Why you want to work at the Unit.
  • When you want to work at the Unit.
  • How long you want to stay with us.
  • What you are interested in working on.
  • The names of at least two contactable referees with postal/email addresses and telephone numbers.