It is the end of women’s month in South Africa, and for me it still feels like being a woman in South Africa is moving from LOVE to DEATH
South African society is becoming more, not less, violent. This was confirmed by the 2017/18 crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) yesterday. Violence affects all South Africans, with the greatest impact on people who are black and poor. Young black men have the highest chance of being murdered. But violence against children and women is at the root of this problem. The effects on individuals are long term – children who grow up in violent households are more likely to use or become victims of violence later in life.
The Ulutsha Street Festival 2018 turned out to be an ideal family event on a typical windy winter day in Port Elizabeth. This year’s Festival once again highlighted how public spaces can be transformed into positive spaces for recreation and social interaction. Further, the Festival demonstrated how festivals can be used as both recreational opportunities as well as opportunities to raise awareness on key social issues, such as gender-based violence and violence against children.
To commemorate International Women’s Day, the United Nations Population Fund, in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, UN Women and the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), hosted a symposium to facilitate a dialogue on the progress made on eliminating and preventing all forms of Violence against Women in South Africa.
Across South Africa there are many organisations working towards preventing the root causes of gender-based violence. The global What Works to Prevent Violence programme currently supports research on a number of South African interventions in this regard. The programme aims to provide evidence on what makes these interventions successful and how they can be replicated, adapted and scaled up.
South Africa takes a front seat when it comes to developing and evaluating programmes that have a proven impact in preventing violence. This was one of the key messages at a seminar by the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria on the 15th of April 2015. The speakers presented research as to how investing in primary prevention of violence, particularly evidence-based parenting and early-childhood interventions, has proven to be effective in reducing and preventing violent behaviour.
In an effort to prioritise the issue of violence against women and children within faith communities and society as a whole, the South African Faith and Family Institute (SAFFI) launched a series of messages by South African faith leaders calling upon their counterparts and every South African to Take a Stand against intimate partner abuse and gender-based violence.
“Unsilence our Violence: Shout!” was a theatre piece created and performed by New World Foundation based in Lavender Hill and Vrygrond for the 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women and Children Campaign 2014. It was performed free of charge on 2 Dec at 10am, 3 Dec at 2pm and 4 Dec at 7pm. The play reflected examples of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) that commonly take place in the Lavender Hill community.
On 25 November 2014, a global research and innovation programme to help prevent violence against women and girls was launched in South Africa by the UK International Development Minister, Baroness Northover.
In a series of coordinated actions, thousands of South Africans took to the streets in late November to demand action from a government that has not prioritized the rape, battery and assault of thousands of its citizens each year. Civil society challenged government to live up to its promises to develop and fully fund a National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence (GBV).