POWA is a feminist organisation that was formed in 1979 by a group of women volunteers in order to provide referral services and sheltering to women who were experiencing domestic violence. Over a period of thirty six years, POWA has continued to provide shelter for abused women and their children, frontline services, including counseling and legal services and support.
POWA was the first organisation to establish a shelter for women who are abused in 1981.
The organisation also pioneered second stage (or transitional) housing for women in 2009 in Gauteng. The direct services delivery component of the organisation forms the basis of and informs all advocacy interventions, at local, national and regional level. Since 1979 the organisation has grown from a staff compliment of 18 to 36 staff members and 70 volunteers.
We currently have seven physical working sites in Gauteng that provide counselling, sheltering and legal support to women at face-to-face level. The organisation also have national reach and presence through our telephonic counselling, advocacy, public awareness and sector strengthening work.
Over the years POWA have become an organisation that is considered to be an expert on issues of women’s rights and therefore are consulted by the private sector, government and civil society on educational and decision-making
matters pertaining to women’s safety and enjoyment of their rights.