As we celebrate 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, it is important to acknowledge that entrenched gender norms in South Africa create an environment in which gender-based violence is acceptable, and even worse, normalised. They inhibit effective implementation of laws intended to address violence against women and girls. It is therefore ever more important to engage adolescent boys and young men in the promotion of gender-equitable attitudes and norms, and influence their behaviours positively.
Religious communities in South Africa are often violent towards the LGBTQIA+ community. The forms of violence are wide-ranging. Faith communities are called to be healers and agents of justice. Therefore, listening to LGBTQIA+ people’s stories is one way to combat the stereotypes, bias and prejudice that nurtures violence.
Two separate pieces of research published by the Networking HIV and AIDS Community of Southern Africa (NACOSA) highlight the need for services and screening for victims of gender based violence as a critical part of the country’s HIV response.
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.
Police, on Tuesday 11 September, reported the killing of women increased 11% in the year to end March 2018, with 20% more boys (under 18 years) murdered compared to the previous 12 months.
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.
In this blog, Bafana Khumalo discusses the need for evidence, action and accountability if we are to effectively address the scourge of gender-based violence in South Africa.
South Africa desperately needs an ambitious, fully-costed and multi-sectoral plan that effectively addresses the factors that give rise to gender-based violence, and that provides comprehensive services to survivors of violence. Gender-based violence need not be a South African reality.
With the support of UMHLALI, an early crime prevention project implemented by the CJCP and Masifunde Learner Development; as well as the GIZ’s Violence and Crime Prevention Project (VCP); the ULUTSHA street festival took place on Youth Day (June 16, 2017) under the slogan “Report cases of violence against women and children!”.