As we begin the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign, we are cognizant of the fact that our society continues to be ravaged by heinous acts of violence against women, children, and people with disabilities.
Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is an all-pervasive problem in South Africa that has a significant impact at the individual level with victims and survivors burdened by emotional and physical effects.
In his weekly newsletter, President Cyril Ramaphosa reminded us that despite the groundswell of public support for this campaign and many others like it, we are still unfortunately a long way from realising a world free of sexism, discrimination and violence against women and girls.
“Despite our best efforts as the international community, as national governments and as civil society, gender-based violence remains a feature in the lives of millions of women and girls around the world.
The reality is that legislative and policy measures instituted by governments cannot alone rid us of this problem,” he said.
The African National Congress calls on all sectors of society to play their part in the fight against gender-based violence, violence against the elderly and children, and femicide. We cannot, as a society, afford to turn a blind eye to this scourge. The scale of the impact of GBV in our society places upon us all a responsibility that we cannot avoid.
We reiterate the call by the President for us to continue in the spirit of mutual respect and partnership, to make this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign one that is impactful and that makes a difference.
In the recently released Special NGC Edition of Umrabulo, in the Discussion Document titled: “Building a non-sexist society: The struggle against patriarchy and the emancipation of women”, we emphasised the fact that the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, is such that it led to women becoming even more vulnerable and susceptible to domestic violence, especially given that there is mounted pressure in how they undertake their responsibilities in the home – including housework and child rearing.
One of the recommendations that we need to take forward as the African National Congress, is the need to move towards shaping a gender-equal future that includes systemic changes with specific contributions on how both the informal and care economy can be modeled to better protect women.
We salute the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) and its Young Women’s Desk (YWD) for their active involvement in the fight against Gender-Based Violence. In this regard, it is of utmost importance to commend the YWD who have been able to speak out against gender injustices and Gender-Based Violence in society. The ANCWL plays an important role in the life of the ANC and the country, and its contribution to strengthening efforts towards gender transformation is valuable. It is notable that through the YWD there has been a broadened scope of gender issues to the extent that the voice of the LGBTQIA+ has found space within the party. It is however important that the ANC should also lead on the campaign to end violence against women and all marginalised groups.
ISSUED BY THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
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