South Africa: Women, Youth and Persons With Disabilities On National Strategic Plan for Gender-Based Violence and Femicide

press release

The multi-sectoral Interim Steering Committee on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) has concluded the final draft of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF following countrywide consultations.

The National Strategic Plan provides a cohesive framework that will guide the national response to the GBVF crisis affecting South Africa.

The plan outlines a comprehensive strategic response to GBVF with a specific focus on violence against all women - across age, physical location, disability, sexual orientation, sexual and gender identity and national identity - as well as violence against children, and how these serve to reinforce each other.

The vision underpinning the plan is a South Africa free from gender-based violence directed at women, children lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual ( LGBTQIA+ ) persons.

The National Strategic Plan is the foundation for a 10-year national focus on decreasing levels of gender-based violence through:

Strengthening state and societal responsibility, driven by bold leadership and political commitment;

Demanding improved accountability across state and societal institutions to drive an agenda to end GBVF;

Making the response to GBVF an integral part of the national effort to combat poverty, unemployment and inequality, and

Deepening society's understanding of GBVF, building partnerships and rooting the response in communities.

Elements of the National Strategic Plan will give rise to new legislation that will entail, among other developments, the establishment of a National Council on GBVF that will provide strategic leadership and political guidance towards the elimination of GBVF in South Africa.

The Council will hold state and societal institutions to account for political commitment and the resourcing of programmes to end GBVF.

In the short-term, the Interim Steering Committee on GBVF is leading the implementation of the Emergency Response Action Plan emergency response to gender-based violence.

The Interim Steering Committee was established in February 2019, as an outcome of the Presidential Summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide that was held in November 2018.

The committee comprises a range of government departments and entities; civil society organisations focused on GBVF; research institutions; international and national development agencies and other organisations.

Elements of the Emergency Response Action Plan are:

The clearing of backlogs at forensic laboratories related to GBVF and especially sexual offences

Additional support for sexual offences courts, Thuthuzela Care Centres and Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigations Units;

The procurement of evidence-collection kits (paediatric rape kits, adult rape kits and buccal sample kits);

Behaviour-change interventions to influence changed behaviour for men and boys, while involving all sectors of society;

Ensuring that shelters accommodate LGBTQIA+ persons and the immediate roll-out of training on victim-centric, survivor-focused services, with a specific drive to train police, prosecutors, magistrates and policy-makers, as well as

The committee discussed modalities of transferring resources to implementers of the Emergency Response Action Plan.

At today's meeting the committee noted that a management methodology to enhance collaboration and problem-solving and to secure rapid results in the implementation of the Emergency Response Action Plan will be piloted in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng in the coming weeks.

Issued by: Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

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