On the whole, Southern African countries have made strides in uplifting women and girls in their countries. Despite this progress, Gender Based Violence (GBV) still remains unacceptably high. Research shows marked increases in domestic, emotional, economic and sexual violence across the region in recent years, with countries such as Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, DRC, South Africa and Swaziland among the worst (Gender Links, 2013). Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe recently reported epidemic levels of femicide.
Gender based violence is multidimensional and is rooted in the patriarchal nature of Southern African society and related gender power inequalities. Religion is often used to perpetuate patriarchal behaviour, using scriptural texts to justify outdated cultural practices that normalise SGBV. The intersection of patriarchal religious and cultural norms can mean that the very institutions where women seek healing and solace turn out to be toxic spaces of violence and further abuse. On the other hand, in a context where over 80% of the population are registered