South Africa: Gender-Based Violence - the Ball's in Your Court, Mr President

analysis

Cyril Ramaphosa's response to gender-based violence could be one of the defining issues of his presidency. He's talked the talk, now he must act. On Wednesday in Parliament, he has that opportunity.

Addressing the media in Parliament on Tuesday 17 September, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen outlined nine proposals the opposition would implement to reduce gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide, which has been raging for years and has recently led to unprecedented outrage and protests under the banners of #TotalShutdown and #AmINext.

DA MP Nazley Sharif, who has been outspoken on the need for drastic action, said her party's proposals were "a very good start" but could continue to improve. She was adamant, however, they would be more effective than President Cyril Ramaphosa's plans.

Ramaphosa has already taken violence against women far more seriously than his predecessor Jacob Zuma, in speech at least. He listened to survivors at the National Summit against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide and committed to taking action during his February State of the Nation Address (Sona). He signed a declaration against GBV and recently addressed the nation on the issue.

But Ramaphosa has been reactive rather than proactive and is yet to introduce the policies or...

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