Our Vision

The ENGF envisions a safe and secure South Africa, where young women and girls can realise their full potential and enjoy their rights as enshrined in our Constitution.

Become a Volunteer

We have volunteer opportunities across the 4 programmes of the ENGF, including administration, communications and support. Due to Covid-19 Lockdown Regulations, volunteers, like everyone, work remotely with a minimum data subsidies.

Advocate for the end of GBVAW/G

Stand together with us as we fight against GBVAW/G. There are many ways in which you can partner with us. Get in touch with the foundation to find out how you can contribute to ensuring we combat GBVAW/G. 

Donate

Together, and with your help, we hope to end the silence around Gender-Based Violence Against Women and Girls and enable those who need help to get it. Want to do your part to fight gender-based violence against women and girls? We urge you to donate to the cause.

"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."

Bishop Tutu

Welcome to ENG Foundation

We are a women’s rights non-profit organisation working in South Africa to eliminate gender-based violence against young women and girls (GBVAW/G), especially child/forced marriages (‘ukuthwala’). We do this by collaborating with interventions and organisations, specifically community-based women’s organisations that seek to eliminate GBVAW/G. To this effect we conduct research; produce and apply knowledge; engage men and boys as allies; and mobilise support and resources for victims of child/forced marriages in particular and GBVAW/G in general.

Ms Gxowa

Champion of Human Rights

As a champion of human rights, Ms Gxowa was one of the first cohort of shop stewards of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union(NEHAWU), Settlers Hospital, Grahamstown, branch, one of the biggest affiliates of the Congress of South African Trade Unions. She was an advocate of cancer as a survivor of uterus and breast cancer(2 mastectomies) for almost half of her life.

The Eugenia Nothemba Foundation intends to make sure that today’s young women and girls are aware of their rights and have the knowledge and confidence needed to exercise their rights and have adequate education which can contribute to self-sufficiency.   

Eugenia Nothemba Gxowa

1930 – 2019

A leader in her own right, Ms Gxowa was a devout member of the Anglican Church, where, as a Member of the Mothers Union of St Augustine Parish, Grahamstown Diocese, under the then Bishop Thabo Makgoba, now the Archbishop of Cape Town, received an award for her sterling and untainted 40 years of membership to this august body, which she served for 2 terms as its registrar. Ms Gxowa was one of the founding members of the  Anglican Women’s Fellowship, St Augustine  Chapter. For 2 terms, she served the St Augustine Parish as its steward. 

Ms Gxowa was a teacher at a time when black married women faced a specific form of discrimination: unlike their male counterparts they were prohibited from teaching at the school of their choice. Instead the Department of Bantu Education sent them as temporary teachers to farm schools far from where they lived. This discriminatory law meant that most married women teachers were removed from their husbands and families – in Ms Gxowa’s case this resulted in the disintegration of her marriage.

Ms Gxowa believed in being faithful to her marriage vows, but unfortunately her husband not. Not only was polygamy an accepted practice, but extramarital-relationships for men were generally tolerated. This mother of six was advised by members of her own and her husband’s family to accept her husband’s infidelity. When Ms Gxowa left her husband, like many other betrayed wives, she was told ‘Go back, marriage is every woman’s home,’ and ‘Be tolerant, it’s normal for a man to want a second wife or to have other relationships.’

However Ms Gxowa was very clear that the contract she had entered into was broken. She filed for divorce and was given custody of her six children, but she lost everything else. She walked away armed with her education – a teacher’s certificate and a nursing certificate – with uneven  professional experience. (It should be noted that there has been very little documentation of the experiences of such women.)

Ms Gxowa was brave. She divorced her husband during the height of apartheid repression, and like others she was up against triple oppression: gender, race and class. At the time there were no laws protecting women’s rights. Without education, she would not have been able to leave her abusive marriage.

Today there are still women who enter into monogamous marriage contracts and are then prevailed upon to accept their husband’s ongoing infidelity. Promiscuity for married men is still widely tolerated. The Eugenia Nothemba Foundation intends to make sure that today’s young women and girls are aware of their rights and have the knowledge and confidence needed to exercise their rights.

Eugenia Nothemba Gxowa

1930 - 2019

A leader in her own right, Ms Gxowa was a devout member of the Anglican Church, where, as a Member of the Mothers Union of St Augustine Parish, Grahamstown Diocese, under the then Bishop Thabo Makgoba, now the Archbishop of Cape Town, received an award for her sterling and untainted 40 years of membership to this august body, which she served for 2 terms as its registrar. Ms Gxowa was one of the founding members of the  Anglican Women’s Fellowship, St Augustine  Chapter. For 2 terms, she served the St Augustine Parish as its steward. 

Ms Gxowa was a teacher at a time when black married women faced a specific form of discrimination: unlike their male counterparts they were prohibited from teaching at the school of their choice. Instead the Department of Bantu Education sent them as temporary teachers to farm schools far from where they lived. This discriminatory law meant that most married women teachers were removed from their husbands and families – in Ms Gxowa’s case this resulted in the disintegration of her marriage.

Ms Gxowa believed in being faithful to her marriage vows, but unfortunately her husband not. Not only was polygamy an accepted practice, but extramarital-relationships for men were generally tolerated. This mother of six was advised by members of her own and her husband’s family to accept her husband’s infidelity. When Ms Gxowa left her husband, like many other betrayed wives, she was told ‘Go back, marriage is every woman’s home,’ and ‘Be tolerant, it’s normal for a man to want a second wife or to have other relationships.’

However Ms Gxowa was very clear that the contract she had entered into was broken. She filed for divorce and was given custody of her six children, but she lost everything else. She walked away armed with her education – a teacher’s certificate and a nursing certificate – with uneven  professional experience. (It should be noted that there has been very little documentation of the experiences of such women.)

Ms Gxowa was brave. She divorced her husband during the height of apartheid repression, and like others she was up against triple oppression: gender, race and class. At the time there were no laws protecting women’s rights. Without education, she would not have been able to leave her abusive marriage.

Today there are still women who enter into monogamous marriage contracts and are then prevailed upon to accept their husband’s ongoing infidelity. Promiscuity for married men is still widely tolerated. The Eugenia Nothemba Foundation intends to make sure that today’s young women and girls are aware of their rights and have the knowledge and confidence needed to exercise their rights.

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