South Africa: Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane On Establishing an Inter-Ministerial Committee Council to Eradicate Gender-Based Violence and Femicide

#AmINext protesters wearing black in support of the fight against gender-based violence take demonstrations to the gates of Parliament (file photo).
press release

The Inter-Ministerial Committee resolves to fast-track the establishment of a Council to eradicate Gender-Based Violence and Femicide

The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) held its 2nd virtual meeting on 4 June 2020. The IMC is constituted by the Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who is the convener, together with the Ministers of Police; Finance; Justice and Correctional Services; Social Development; Public Service and Administration.

The IMC was established by Cabinet to undertake work relating to the institutional arrangements and coordination to ensure the effective implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), 2020-2030. The NSP was widely consulted under the stewardship of the Interim Steering Committee on GBVF and provides a multi-sectorial, coherent strategic policy and programming framework to ensure a coordinated national response towards the eradication of GBVF.

The IMC meeting extensively deliberated on the processes for the establishment of the National Council on GBVF. The National Council will be an independent and non-partisan Advisory Body and will provide strategic leadership in implementing the NSP, facilitate resourcing, coordination and accountability in responding to GBVF.

The IMC also discussed and agreed on a roadmap for the establishment of the Council; the Terms of Reference for the Council and the nomination process for candidates who will serve on the National Council.

Having considered the above-mentioned issues, the 2nd meeting of the IMC adopted the following key decisions:

The Terms of Reference of the IMC (which will guide the work of the Committee);

The urgent publishing of an advertisement calling for nominations for members to serve on the National Council for GBVF;

Agreed to the establishment of a Technical Team comprising of Deputy Director-Generals from the departments represented in the IMC (to be nominated by 11 June 2020);

Agreed to keep the momentum of highlighting and tackling the scourge of GBVF through prevention, creating awareness, regular communication, in particular during the lockdown period and under the circumstances of COVID-19;

Further agreed on the need to enhance coordination on the prevailing GBV data in order to reflect accurate and synchronised statistics; and

Underscored the need to highlight issues of GBVF in the discussions and reports of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) and that these issues of GBVF should become standing items in the reports submitted to the National Corona Virus Command Council and Cabinet.

The IMC also noted the important documents which are an integral part of efforts to tackle GBVF including the Emergency Response Action Plan (ERAP); the Presidential Summit Against Gender-based Violence and Femicide Declaration and the National Strategic Plan and its implementation Road Map. Finally, the IMC reaffirmed its resolve to arrest the scourge of GBVF in our society including during the period of COVID-19 lockdown.

During the meeting Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said: "There are many cases of gruesome murders and rape of women that occur on a daily basis that go unreported; and the COVID-19 lockdown makes it even more difficult for many victims to report their ordeal to the police or the command centre. Therefore, it is incumbent for the IMC members to move with speed and urgently establish the National Council for Gender Based Violence and Femicide."

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