Here's What the South African Government has Promised to Do About Gender-based Violence
They have pledged 1.1 billion Rand towards the fight against gender-based violence.
Over the past two weeks, South Africans took to the streets to protest against the rise in gender-based violence and violence towards children. These protests were in response to the horrific rape and murder of several young women, one after the other. Students at various universities across the country organized marches and vigils in while others marched to the parliament buildings in Cape Town and more recently at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the protesters outside the parliament buildings and promised that the government would respond swiftly to the rising war on women. Yesterday, Ramaphosa called for a joint sitting of the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces to discuss the way forward, News24 reports.
The South African government has decided to reallocate R1.1 billion (USD 682 million) in additional funding towards the fight against the continued gender-based violence in the country. In his address, Ramaphosa said that, "There is a very violent and brutal war underway against the women of South Africa. Last year, 2 700 women and more than 1 000 children had died at the hands of another person, while the police received over 100 rape cases daily. This does not take into account the many more cases of rape and sexual assault that are not reported." He went on to add that, "Regardless of where we stand across the political divide, each of us here today recognizes the reality that we are confronting a crisis of violence and intolerance. We have to act now before anger, hopelessness and despair engulfs our country."
Additionally, and perhaps more useful, Ramaphosa presented the house with five key strategies which included: preventing GBV, empowering women economically, improving the criminal justice system, enhancing the existing policy and legal frameworks as well as providing adequate support structures for victims of GBV.
He again reiterated his call for perpetrators of rape and the murder of women to have their bail and parole applications denied as well as harsher minimum sentences for these crimes, SowetanLIVE reports. Ramaphosa has also promised to call on parliament to have the National Registry for Sex Offenders made available to the public and not just potential employers.