Women demand action now to end GBV

Date: November 23, 2013
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Johannesburg, 23 November: The Southern African region is in a state of emergency. Governments across the region must to act now to reduce the levels of GBV to guarantee women’s human rights. This requires a holistic approach that includes constitutional and legal measures, social, political and economic empowerment, political leadership, and a fundamental change of attitudes from the bedroom to the boardroom.

This is the key message of Gender Links (GL), a Southern African NGO that coordinates the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance on 25 November 2013, International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women and the start of the Sixteen Days of Activism. The campaign runs until 10 December, International Human Rights Day.

In four provinces of Zambia 89% of women experienced gender violence at least once in their lifetime. The comparable figures for Lesotho are 86%; for Zimbabwe 68%, for Botswana 67%, and 24% in Mauritius. In four provinces of South Africa- 77% women in Limpopo, 45% in the Western Cape, over 51% in Gauteng and 36% in KwaZulu Natal have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime.

These are the findings of Violence Against Women (VAW) baseline studies conducted by GL and partner organisations.

“For us, the campaign to end violence is a 365 day campaign,” said GL CEO Colleen Lowe Morna. “However we will use the political and media attention accorded to the Sixteen Days of Activism to raise awareness on the extent, causes, effects, and efforts to end GBV as highlighted in the various studies we have conducted. Through the launch of various country barometers on progress towards achieving the 28 targets of the SADC Gender Protocol, we will send out the message that GBV does not occur in a vacuum. It is part of a broader campaign to ensure that gender equality is achieved.”

GL commemorates the campaign under the banner Peace begins at home. The theme recognises that the highest form of violence that women experience is perpetrated by their partners. Intimate partner violence (IPV) requires strategies that aim to stop the war at home.

During the Sixteen Days GL will collaborate with partners in the Centres of Excellence (COE) for gender in the media and local government to push for the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development’s target to halve gender violence by 2015. GL is working with 50 local councils in ten countries to strengthen their GBV action plans, engaging with gender attitude profiles for the councils and building capacity to use information technology (IT) to advocate for gender justice. GL will work with media COEs to increase their coverage and to ensure that GBV report is sensitive.

Highlights of the campaign will include:
South Africa, 25 November: The launch of the Limpopo Violence Against Women Baseline study and the final draft of the South Africa SADC Gender Protocol Barometer at the British High Commission in Tshwane, South Africa on Monday, 25 November. Speakers will include Deputy High Commissioner Martin Reynolds and the European Union Ambassador His Excellency Roeland van der Geer. The South Africa Barometer will be open for comment for the duration of the Sixteen Days on www.genderlinks.org.za. GL and the South Women in Dialogue (SAWID), the Alliance Focal Network in South Africa, will present the Women Demand Action Now demands gathered from nine provincial workshops on what women need to realise their rights as equal citizens. On each working day of the sixteen days, SAWID and GL will feature one of the eleven chapters of the South African Barometer for discussion and comment, starting with the Constitutional and Legal chapter on 25 November https://www.genderlinks.org.za/article/sa-barometer-2013-chapter-1-constitutional-and-legal-rights-2013-11-22.

Malawi, 28 November: GL and the Alliance will launch the 2013 Malawi Barometer as well as the 50/50 campaign ahead of the elections in May. GL Francophone Director, Loga Virahsawmy, will present the process that led to the Mauritius legislated local government quota that led to an increase from six to 26% women in the 2012 elections.
Zimbabwe 9-10 December: On the eve of International Human Rights Day, GL will launch the Zimbabwe Violence Against Women Baseline study in partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development (MWAGCD). On the next day, 10 December, the Zimbabwe Women’s Coalition, Alliance Focal Network in Zimbabwe Network will launch the country Barometer.
Around the region, working with over 200 local councils and media Centres of Excellence: Daily thematic cyber dialogues or online chats, Facebook and twitter will be used to ensure that all stakeholders remain linked across geographical boundaries during the campaign. The cyber dialogues will take place from 13.00 to 14.00 daily South African time. A daily e-Announcement will inform people and the media about GL’s daily theme, activities and will disseminate the GL News special series including personal accounts of GBV or “I” stories .

For more information, interviews or requests to republish GL News please email Katherine Robinson or phone +27 11 622 2877.



0 thoughts on “Women demand action now to end GBV”

Lidia Chirambasukwa says:

It is so suprising that our itimate partners abuse us both physically, mentally and psychologically, forgetting we are supposed to be their helpers. In most cases the abuse is in front of the children which traumatizes them for the rest of their lives. Here in Zimbabwe the 16 days of Activism were launched with both men taking an active role. Lets fight hard to end GBV so men could treat us as equal partners so that come 2015 GBV will be reduced in most countries.

Thandokazi says:

I still feel that there is just too much silence on the issue of violence against women and children, 16 days of activism (which I too feel should be 365 days of activism) has now become some show for politicians to visit centers and make promises to work with them to combat GBV, the same centers they are failing to sustain and support financially. A holistic approach is needed as far as GBV is concerned, this should not be a problem of women and rather a social concern that doesn’t just trouble feminists and a few people on the 25th November to the 10th December. We need politicians, traditional leaders, MEN, women, and all SA citizens both young and old to not just be aware of the cases of GBV but to radically seek to address them collectively.

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