CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 26, 2021 / APO Group / – The Board of Directors of Parliament (OP), headed by the President of the National Assembly (NA), Mrs. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and the President of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Mr. Amos Masondo, join the world in commemorate the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (GBV).
Among other things, the campaign aims to raise awareness about violence against women and children, and make people aware of the negative impact of this violence. It also aims to eliminate all forms of abuse from South African society.
The United Nations and Beijing declarations define violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results or may result in physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of freedom, whether in public or private life ”. President Cyril Ramaphosa has described gender-based violence as a pandemic and, like any pandemic, it continues to claim the lives of women and children.
Crime statistics for the period 2019/2020 in South Africa indicate that 2,695 women and 943 children were killed in South Africa. These statistics paint a dark picture of how gender-based violence continues to deny women and children the right to live safely and peacefully in their society.
“These figures of 2,695 women and 943 children, who were murdered in that period, are unacceptably too high and shocking. In the fight against gender-based violence, Parliament passed three important bills on gender-based violence. They are the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill; the bill to amend the Criminal Law Amendment Act (Sexual Offenses and Related Matters); and the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill, ”said the OPs.
“When these bills become laws,” they continued, “they will certainly create a new paradigm that will sharpen the advantage of law enforcement agencies to successfully deal with acts of GBV and other forms of violence.”
The POs reiterate Parliament’s commitment to its constitutional oversight role of the executive, among other things, closely monitoring the implementation of these laws to effectively remove and ultimately push back all boundaries of violence.
The POs said that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the implementation of lockdown measures in the past 18 months have exacerbated gender-based violence in South Africa. Statistics show that three women were killed by their partners every day during this time. Throughout this era of confinement, women have become more vulnerable to abuse from men and die every day.
The deeply ingrained patriarchy in our communities is the foundation and springboard for the continuation of gender-based violence in South Africa. The POs call on all men of goodwill to be at the forefront of the 2021 campaign against the abuse of women and children. Parliament calls on all men to mobilize in our communities, driven by the motto Not in my name.
“Parliament will never back down in our promotion of human rights, equality, non-sexism and the supremacy of the Constitution,” the OPs concluded.
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