Departments urged to take up GBV fight

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) has challenged other government departments to become accountable for their role and initiatives in ending gender-based violence and femicide.

“They need to be accountable. They need to identify exactly what they are supposed to be doing, and they need to be accountable in ensuring that they achieve the targets that they identified in ending gender-based violence,” said Director at the department, Nomsa Nabo, on Tuesday.

Nabo was speaking at a virtual media briefing aimed at assessing the impact of 100-day challenges under the auspices of the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide National Strategic Plan (GBVF NSP).

The briefing illustrated how using 100-day challenges as focused interventions in specific geographical locations has accelerated the implementation of the NSP on GBVF at municipal level.

Speaking on the importance of localising the NSP, Nabo said it is important to ensure that departments do not implement their interventions on GBV in isolation, and they should “plan together, and also hold each other accountable”.

Nabo said municipalities have a role to play when it comes to localising the NSP and they should integrate GBV matters into their plans.

“[Municipalities] also need to ensure that they lead initiatives to fight GBV and that stakeholders within municipalities are able to account for their interventions, and are able to get support from the municipalities and the departments that are in their area.”

She acknowledged the role played by the civil society organisations, as they are on the ground and know what is happening at community level.

“They make a very important contribution to ensuring that even the plans that are developed at that level deal specifically with the challenges expressed by that community. My vision is a community that is organised against GBV.”

Working on prevention 

Nicky Le Roux from the Ford Foundation said there is a need to invest in 100-day challenges, which aid in addressing the problems encountered by victims and those implementing GBV campaigns.

“We need to work together collaboratively and have a commitment as South Africans that we cannot live in a society where women, children and gender non-confirming individuals are at risk of death at the drop of a hat.

“We need to work on prevention. We should be focusing… [on] pumping funding into prevention strategies…. [We need to] look at how the private sector can come on board… to support and accelerate some of this work. This is our pandemic that we’ve been living with for years,” Le Roux said.  

A country free of all forms of discrimination 

Western Cape Provincial Manager of the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), Sixolile Ngcobo, said the commission’s wider vision for South Africa is a country free of all forms of discrimination and oppression.

“When we look at global human development instruments such as SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals], we only have few years before 2030 and in the SDGs, it is very clear that we need to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women [to create a] world that is gender just,” Ngcobo said. –