Africa: Women Can Do It South Africa Statement - GBV Is a Pandemic On Its Own!

press release

As the nation fights the invisible Covid-19 peril, a highly visible epidemic of gender-based violence continues to affect women and children each day. This scourge continues to sweep through the country, despite President Cyril Ramaphosa declaring femicide a national crisis in September 2019.

South Africa Women Can Do It Network is calling for Gender Based Violence to be declared a pandemic that needs government intervention NOW. The network is made up of gender activists and trainers from vulnerable communities in informal settlements, mining affected areas, rural small scale farmers and farm workers, who went through a WCDI training which aims to promote and strengthen the participation of women in public and political life.

High rates of femicide and Gender Based Violence continue to be reported even during the national lockdown, with women locked down with their perpetrators in most cases. Cases includes to name a few:

The body of Tshegofatso Pule, 28, eight-months pregnant who was found stabbed and hanging from a tree in Florida Lake, Roodepoort.

Few weeks later a body of Amahle Quku, 17 years old was found dead in Philippi, Cape Town.

The death of sex worker Elma Robyn Montsumi at Mowbray police station in April this year has raised alarm bells amongst LGBTQI activists.

A two-year-old girl has allegedly been raped while in a COVID-19 isolation ward at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

These cases are just a reflection of how bad this pandemic is where we see women and children being targeted on a daily basis.

In 2018 and 2019 we saw a high rise of Gender based violence and our government responded with opening up these debates in parliament and a birth of National Strategic Plan (GBVF-NSP) produced by an interim Steering Committee established in April 2019 which was meant to deal with issue related to GBV and femicide crisis following the historic 2018 Presidential Summit. The NSP aims to provide a multi-sectoral, coherent strategic policy and programming framework to strengthen a coordinated national response to the crisis of gender-based violence and femicide by the government of South Africa and the country as a whole. The strategy seeks to address the needs and challenges faced by all, especially women across age, sexual orientation, sexual and gender identities; and specific groups such as elderly women, women who live with disability, migrant women and trans women, affected and impacted by the gender-based violence scourge in South Africa.

Since the summit each year we see women taking to the streets to call for no violence on women and children, calling on the protection of women and Children and all the vulnerable groups LGBTIQ+. Recently hundreds protest against Gender based violence took place in front of Parliament, demanding that GBV be declared a pandemic on its own.

We demand:

Cases of Gender Based Violence become a priority

Government put in place systems to deal with the roots course of GBV

All GBV cases to be taken into consideration

The President to put a stop on GBV by putting system in place that will deal with the perpetrators

We also demand all police stations to have a personnel who can take GBV cases without harassing victims

Join the conversation

Zoom & Facebook live event

Wednesday 22 July 2020

11:am-12:30

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