COVID-19 has altered how we engage with one another. With social distancing as the new norm, and the prolonged lockdown having affected people at various levels of their lives, life has had to be reimagined and reconfigured. One of the things that has remained stable, if not worsened, is the challenge of gender-based violence. In South Africa and many other countries in the world, when strict lockdown rules were introduced, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) started making headlines on many media platforms, sparking protests, online dialogues, and online support networks for those affected. While people were worried about protecting themselves against COVID-19, many women had to shoulder the added burden of worrying about their safety within their own homes. While the South African lockdown was meant for the nation’s safety (e.g., ensuring the minimization of infections), it also created a “nest” and “feeling of entrapment” for women experiencing gender-related violence. Drawing from a decolonial feminist approach, this article explores how needlework in the form of embroidery can be used to visually depict how gender-based violence affects families, and communities more broadly. Specific attention is given to how community women visually and creatively make meaning of gender-based violence and the various ways it manifests in their communities. The article concludes by offering some possible avenues for reflecting on and reimagining ways in which GBV could be tackled.
"Stitching Narratives of Gender-based Violence: Meaning-making through Embroidery,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
4, Article 5.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss4/5