Transilience Research Questionnaire

Published October 3, 2014 by transfeminists

Dear Friends, family, supporters of Social, Health and Empowerment

Greetings from all of us. We are currently running the Transilience Research Questionnaire. This is aimed at collective data of violence against transgender women. This will be a first of its kind research documenting violence against transgender women in South Africa. We ask transgender women living in South Africa to please take a minute to look at this questionnaire and to respond. Please click on the link below to access the questionnaire, ONLY IF YOU’RE A TRANSGENDER WOMAN LIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA!

Transilience Research Questionnaire

We thank you for your time and look forward to receiving your response.

Thank you

Leigh Ann and the team at S.H.E


Dialogue on religion, culture and gender diversity, 26 September 2014

Published September 25, 2014 by transfeminists

Dear Friends
Dialogue on Culture, Religion and Gender Diversity

Please click on this link to access the invitation in PDF

Invitation to the Dialogue

Social, Health and Empowerment is a registered non-profit organization (106-631-NPO) working to advance the rights of transgender women on the African continent. It is a feminist collective working to realize the human rights of transgender women. It does so through its work on feminist ideas and analysis. The collective also undertakes its work through a Pan Africanist, feminist, human rights framing.
S.H.E is based in East London, Eastern Cape based province of South Africa, well known for its strong traditional leadership, strong cultural and traditional values. Further to this, colonialism has left Africa with a legacy of strong fundamentalist, essentialist and oppressive attitudes of social exclusion, underlying a gender binary based on the assumption that there is often only one way of being: man or woman.

This said, the collective organizes in a strong patriarchal and heteronormative context. A context often influenced by patriarchal, normative values and norms. This is often to the disadvantage of women, children and minority groups. Culture is often used as an argument against the rights of minority groups of women, in particular transgender, lesbian and bisexual women. Throughout history, culture is often presented as an immutable, static concept, yet culture is man-made, and man can unmake it! Gender based violence often stems of social distinctions of gender, race and class. Johnnetta B. Cole notes in Anthropology of the Nineties: “Social distinctions are man-made and learned; what man makes and learns he can unmake and unlearn”.

Gender diversity remains a contentious issue for religious and traditional leaders.
It is in this context that S.H.E is hosting a dialogue with religious & cultural leaders; human rights/gender rights institutions, and gender diverse persons. The objectives of such a dialogue would be:
• Creating a space of dialogue on gender diversity and how this issue intersect with cultural and religious considerations;
• Sensitising religious and traditional leaders on issues affecting transgender, lesbian and bisexual women;
• Creating visibility of gender based violence based on religious and/or traditional fundamentalisms.
We welcome participants from the religious/traditional sector, the men’s sector, the women’s sector, CBO’s/ human rights & gender rights institutes, and members of the transgender, lesbian and bisexual women community.

Date: Friday, 26 September 2014
Time: 10 AM to 14:00 PM
Venue: St. Saviours Church (behind Ultra Liquor in Oxford Road)

Please RSVP to Leigh Ann van der Merwe on or Phiwe Ngcengi on or Felicity de Kock on Alternatively, call +27(0)43 7220750

Media intern – S.H.E is hiring!

Published August 21, 2014 by transfeminists

Friends, S.H.E is hiring! We are looking to engage the services of a media intern. Please see the attached advertisement in Pdf but feel free to share this post on your social media accounts and also email to people who might be interested. Candidates from the transgender community will be given preference. Click on the link below for more details.

Internship Programme

We look forward to hearing from you all very soon!

Ms. Trans Diva 2014 Application form

Published July 31, 2014 by transfeminists


Finally, its here! It is that time of the year again when we are gearing up to host our annual Ms. Trans Diva pageant. Ms. Trans Diva is not just any pageant; it is a beauty pageant that shifts the focus to the attainment of human rights for transgender women in East London and the surrounding areas. Moreover, Ms. Trans Diva creates a platform to talk about HIV and how that intersects with other issues facing transgender women.

A selection committee will screen all applications and qualifying contestants will go through to the interview stage. Only 12 contestants will be selected for the pageant on 27 September 2014. The 12 contestants will be ambassadors for their communities

The contestants will battle it out for the title of Ms. Trans Diva 2014. There will be good prizes and the honor to be a provincial ambassador for a very neglected community. The final participants will have a photo shoot with a professional photographer.

Click on the link below for a downloadable version of the form. Each application must be accompanied by R 20 (South African Rand). Applications due on 15 August 2014. Late applications will not be considered.


MS Trans Diva application form………..-2

Reach Out to BJ

Published April 16, 2014 by transfeminists

Friends and supporters of S.H.E

Today, we are writing on a very sad note to request help for a young trans woman who finds herself in a very difficult situation. We are appealing to the community to give generously to this young woman.

Reach out to BJ

For more information, please contact:

Phiwe Ngcengi at +27(0)43 7220750; or send an email to with the subject line: Reach Out to BJ

Thank you in advance


Till next time…………………..

African perspectives

Published April 15, 2014 by transfeminists

Dear friends and supporters of S.H.E

Our partners at IGLHRC put together this compilation of African perspectives with regards to LGBTI activism. Our own coordinator Leigh Ann van der Merwe shares her views on transgender women in Africa. Please click on the link below to read about the work of amazing African activists.

Africa Perspectives

Until next time.



TransFeminista Quarterly Newsletter Vol. 1 Issue 1, 2014

Published April 12, 2014 by transfeminists

Dear Friends and supporters of S.H.E

Finally, it is here! After a very long wait, we are proud to present the first addition of our newsletter the TransFeminista. Please open the link below to access a downloadable version of the newsletter.

Transfeminista Vol 1 Issue 1 2014

Do enjoy the newsletter and please feel free to share in your networks. Also, please consider making a contribution to the following edition of the TransFeminista.

Sending love

The media team at S.H.E