The recent high profile cases of women and children either being raped, burned, or hidden in a shallow grave highlights the need to focus on making boys and young men better members of society, the Department of Women in the Presidency, said on Wednesday.
"Gender-based violence remains one of the most critical challenges facing our communities today," said director general Jenny Schriener in a statement.
"The recent disturbing developments sketch a grim reality that women continue to face in our society."
This was as fear rose over the murders of a number of women and children this week.
Karabo Mokoena's burnt body was discovered in a shallow grave in Lyndhurst, eastern Johannesburg, after she went missing, and three-year-old Courtney Pieters was found buried near her house after being missing for more than a week.
Schreiner called on community leaders to engage with their communities to prevent the abuse and violence against women and children every day.
South Africa customarily sets aside 16 days in December to focus on eliminating violence against women and children, but some say this is not enough, spawning a debate with the hashtag #menaretrash.
"While some of these cases have caught the media's attention - we should always bear in mind that there are equally brutal cases of many other women suffering at the hands of men - whose pain and suffering remains unknown. It therefore requires that we all do our part in our homes, communities and various institutions including places of work to prevent violence," said Schreiner.
A lodger in Pieters' home, Mortimer Saunders was arrested for the child's murder and appeared in the Goodwood Magistrate's Court on Wednesday. He will return to court on May 24.
Sandile Kagiso Mantsoe, was arrested in connection with Mokoena's murder and has appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court. He will apply for bail on May 24.