South Africa: The fight against GBV continues

South Africa: The fight against GBV continues

Date: June 25, 2015
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Johannesburg, 24 June: The South African Gender Protocol@Work Summit got off to a sobering start yesterday when participants presented the work they are doing in their organisations and communities to help fight gender based violence (GBV).

One of the 28 targets of the SADC Gender Protocol is the halving GBV by 2015, however according to GL’s Violence Against Women Baseline Study, 77% of women in Limpopo; 51% in Gauteng; 39% in the Western Cape and 37% of women in KwaZulu-Natal report experiencing some form of gender-based violence. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the predominant form of violence against women in four provinces of South Africa. These high rates and of violence persist despite South Africa’s relatively strong legislation on GBV and policies gender equality.

Mapule Moema, a participant from Sekwele Centre for Social Reflection- a community development and faith-based organisation operating in the Free State- said their objective is to promote social justice through critical reflection, so that communities and citizens help bring about positive change in their communities. “Our partnership with other organisations as well as Gender Links has led to positive results, which is why we felt this year we had to partake in the competition and share with others our successful work,” said Moema.

Maripe George Makgolane, Treasurer of the Mankkweng Victim Support Centre in Limpopo also presented at the summit. The centre raises funds to help survivors of violence and other people in need. Makgolane explained that to fight GBV we need to change attitudes, and so their volunteers also go out into the community to create awareness about the different types of abuse women experience. “I am a gender activist, passionately committed to fight for gender quality. I am very disappointed by our fellow men who abuse women. We men need to change our attitudes and behavior,” said Makgolane.

Although the Mankkweng Victim Support Centre is really hoping to win an award this evening at the summit’s closing ceremony, Makgolane maintains that regardless of the outcome their work will continue. “It’s not about individual benefits and rewards, it is about our beneficiaries. I am so happy to have participated and we will promote the Gender Protocol at all possible levels.”

Tshepang Mokgokong, a judge in the GBV category said people are doing good work in their communities and the summit no only helps people share good practice but encourages them to continue fighting for justice. “I think most of the participants did very well and their projects are very informative and innovative. Our main challenge as judges is that there has to be only one or two winners, even though they all deserve to win,” she explained.

This article is part of the Gender Links News Service special coverage of the SADC Gender Protocol Summits underway across the region, offering fresh views on everyday news.



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