Ramaphosa: ‘Gender-based violence is SA’s second pandemic’
President Cyril Ramaphosa did not forget about the plight of gender-based violence (GBV) in his national address, on Monday.
Ramaphosa declares gender-based violence SA’s second pandemic
The president, after spending much of his time detailing the adjustments to Alert Level 3, admitted that violent crimes against women and children were still very much prevalent in South Africa.
“As we travel together along the path to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, we must never lose sight of the need to act urgently and decisively to end the violence that men perpetrate against women and children,” he said.
In his own words, Ramaphosa declared GBV and femicide as “our country’s second pandemic.”
Programmes in place to educate men about toxic masculinity
This declaration comes a week after Patronicia Mandy Jordaan, a 14-year-old girl from Helenvale, Port Elizabeth, was allegedly gang-raped by at least 12 men before she was hacked to death.
Part of the government’s efforts to fighting GBV, Ramaphosa explained, is “to implement social and behavioural change interventions.”
This involves collaborating with civil society formations to educate the taxi industry and religious community on gender awareness, gender norms, toxic masculinityand GBV.
“This includes a programme where leaders are trained to accompany survivors of gender-based violence from the time they report the incident until they are referred for further service. Faith activists are also trained to support women through the court process,” the president announced.
A portion of the proceeds earmarked for Covid-19 will also include supporting women’s economic empowerment programmes, particularly in areas where training is provided for businesswomen who seek access to public procurement opportunities.
A new global standard for sexual harassment at work is coming to SA
The president also detailed the process currently underplace to establish a global standard for protection of women at workplace environments.
“To end harassment at work, South Africa is in the process of ratifying ILO Convention 190, which establishes a global standard for protection of women and other vulnerable groups in the world of work,” Ramaphosa revealed.
It is hoped that these efforts will, in some way, contribute to the decrease of violence against women and children.