The Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development (henceforth referred to as Nisaa) was started by a group of committed women activists, in response to the growing problem of violence against women. The organisation was initiated at the end of 1993 and launched in April 1994, with the assistance of the Frauen Anstiftung.
Nisaa is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, opposed to all forms of oppression, exploitation and violence against women. Nisaa particularly focuses on the prevention of gender violence and the empowerment of women who have been abused at the hands of their partners.
The post-apartheid commitment to development and nation building and the African Renaissance has not, as yet provided women with the necessary resources to facilitate their empowerment. As such, many women particularly those from poorer communities – do not have adequate access to necessary resources that allow them more control over their lives. It is in this context that a core group of women came together to build an organization which is committed to community-based women’s development. As such an office was established in Lenasia, a suburb 30 kilometres south of Johannesburg. This office served as the main Nisaa outlet from 1994 to 1996. A satellite office was established in South Africa’s largest township, Soweto, in 1996 and was followed by an office in Orange Farm in February 1998 because of the demand and need for services in those areas.
Enabling women and children to live in a world free of violence
Nisaa promotes women’s and children’s rights through:
- Counseling and shelter services
- Awareness and advocacy
- Developing local, national, regional and international partnerships.