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Enough is Enough – No to Gender-Based Violence and Femicide

 

 

 


Posted: 25 November 2019

Annually the world celebrates 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign which is a United Nations campaign starting from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Days). During this period, it also commemoration of the World Aids Day on 01 December, as well as International Day for People with Disabilities on 03 December.

The theme for 2019 is: “Enough is Enough – 365 days to Gender-Based Violence and Femicide” given the scourge of Gender-Based Violence in South Africa which was declared a national crisis by President Cyril Ramaphosa in September 2019.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign aims to:

  • Raise awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on women and children and to rid society of abuse permanently.
  • Attract all South Africans to be active participants in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children.
  • Encourage society to acknowledge that violence against women and children is not a government or criminal justice system problem, but a social problem and that failure to view it as such results in all efforts failing to eradicate this scourge in our communities.

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has committed itself to support all government-led programmes including 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Moreover, the organisation subscribes to the legislative framework that the government has implemented to eradicate discrimination and violence against women and children.

To name a few, some of the most critical pieces of legislation include:

  • Employment Equity Act, 1998;
  • Maintenance Act, 1998;
  • Domestic Violence Act, 1998; and the
  • Sexual Offences Act, 2007

Addressing the launch of the campaign in Limpopo, President Ramaphosa indicated that since September 2019 “government established an R1.6 billion Emergency Action Plan which reprioritises programmes that tackle gender-based violence.”

The action plan focuses on “improving access to justice for survivors; prevention campaigns to change attitudes and behaviour; measures to strengthen the criminal justice system, as well as the creation of economic opportunities for women who are vulnerable to abuse,” explained the President.

Ramaphosa further highlighted that throughout the nation provinces are identifying underutilised buildings that can be refurbished and used as shelters. To date, “four properties in Pretoria have already been refurbished and will open as shelters in the first week of December.”

As a response to the country’s outcry regarding insensitivities that victims face when reporting incidents, national and provincial 24-hour call centres have been established to deal with complaints against SAPS and legal officers in matters of gender-based violence are up and running, furthermore, government has achieved its target of attending to all complaints within seven days. 

To ensure that those found guilty of gender-based violence receive punishment proportionate to the seriousness of their crimes, government is also in the process of reforming existing laws around bail and sentencing. 

SALGA urges all to be an activist against GBV in your homes, communities, work and positions and play your part by supporting the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign.

Click here for President’s speech
 
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