The responsibility to end gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) lies with men, not women.
This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who recently addressed the second Presidential Summit on GBVF at the Gallagher Estate in Midrand, Gauteng under the theme: “Accountability, Acceleration and Amplification, NOW!”
The first summit was held in 2018. This year, the summit assessed progress made in fulfilling the commitments made at the first summit in implementing the National Strategic Plan on GBVF.
The NSP aims to provide a multi-sectoral, coherent strategic policy and programming framework to strengthen a coordinated national response to the crisis of GBVF by the government and the country as a whole.
President Ramaphosa said despite efforts to fight GBVF, violence against women and children is still persistent in the country.
Data from the South African Police Service shows that sexual offences and rape increased by 13% between 2017/18 and 2021/22.
“Between the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022 there was a 52% increase in the murder of women, and a 46% increase in the number of children murdered,” said the President.
He said since the last summit, 83 courts have been upgraded into Sexual Offences Courts.
He added that Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) are proving effective in improving conviction rates.
“In the last financial year, a conviction rate of 77% was obtained for cases reported at Thuthuzela Care Centres. As it stands, out of 52 districts across the country, 45 have at least one GBV shelter and 85% of these are government funded,” he said.
Resolutions of the summit
The delegate who attended the summit also came up with a set of resolutions that seek to end the scourge of GBVF.
Some of the resolutions of the summit included increasing funding for the implementation of the NSP across all six pillars, from the government and the private sector.
The establishment of a coordination system that will address GBV on children that includes civil society. This system will be established by the Presidency and led by the Director-General.
Furthermore, delegates agreed that there should be an effective referral system for survivors of GBV and well-resourced Thuthuzela Care Centres in all districts.
What is a Thuthuzela Care Centres?
Thuthuzela Care Centers (TCCs) are run by the National Prosecuting Authority. They make sure that GBV victims receive holistic care, including treatment and counseling.
They work closely with hospitals where victims of rape and sexual assault can receive care, have evidence collected, and have their statements recorded by the SAPS. Court preparation services are also provided.There are more than 50 TCCs in South Africa. For a list of TCCs and their contact details, visit www.justice.gov.za/vg/TCCs-list.pdf