African States Must Man Up in the Fight Against SGBV


The subject of government accountability for sexual and gender-based violence is either absent from or peripheral to the agenda of African governments in general. The African Union is full of promises, but short on delivery, particularly when it comes to human rights issues affecting ordinary people.

President Cyril Ramaphosa spent a good part of last week addressing the scale, prevalence and magnitude of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) directed against women, girls and LGBTQ2 individuals in South Africa. The latest trigger moment was the rape and gruesome killing of Precious Ramabulana in Limpopo.

So enthralled was the president on the issue of SGBV that he made commitments that would not pass any constitutional scrutiny, at least until some constitutional provisions are amended. Launching the 16 Days of Activism campaign in Lephalale, Limpopo last week, he did not mince his words declaring SGBV a shame of South African society. But after all the tough talk and rhetoric, the moment of silence, inaction from our government sets in. The sad reality of victims of SGBV in South Africa is that of people left out in the cold, afraid and forgotten.

I can spend pages addressing what should be done to combat SGBV...

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