The rate of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in South Africa is among the highest in the world. Latest police statistics for 2019/2020 showed a reported 53,293 Sexual Violence cases. This is a rate of 90.8 per 100,000. South African Femicide rates are estimated to be 5 times higher than the global average.
According to the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) the police’s rape statistics should not been viewed as an “accurate measure of either the extent or trend of this crime”. There is no recent annual and nationally representative estimate. Data shows that the percentage of women who choose to report being raped, has drops each year.
Recent research also shows the shocking statistics that almost 36% of girls and boys in South Africa experience sexual violence before the age of 17. Included in this horrific problem is infant-rape.
It is a dire situation, and we have yet to find out the exacerbating effect of lockdown on this.
What Cabinet is Doing
The Government stated: “In March 2020, Cabinet approved the National Strategic Plan on Gender-based Violence and Femicide (GBVF-NSP). Cabinet also approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Gender-based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) to establish the National Council on GBVF (NCGBVF) and oversee the implementation of the GBVF-NSP. This decision was in line with the Declaration arising from the Presidential Summit Against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), held on 1 and 2 November 2018.
Current Discussion: Process to form Board of Trustees to establish National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NCGBVF).
There is concern around the time taken to set up the NCGBVF, although other Government Departments, such as the Education Department, also have plans underway to combat GBVF.
Yesterday, 14 October, the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities hosted a roundtable to discuss the process, currently underway, to form the Board of Trustees that will establish the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NCGBVF).
It brought together voices from government and civil society organisations who differ on the processes being followed to establish the temporary board which will establish the NCGBVF. The department stated “Civil Society and Media play an important role in understanding this process as it directly impacts on the country’s efforts to end gender-based violence and femicide” and recently called for nominations from civil society organisations to form part of the Board of Trustees.
Nomination Forms and Terms of Reference
Nomination forms and terms of reference can be found at www.women.gov.za (DOCUMENTS – GBVF)
The nominations MUST be lodged with the Department (DWYPD) by post, or by hand, or by emailing it to NCGBVF@women.gov.za before 20 October 2020.
Citizens of South Africa are encouraged to report all crime. Citizens are also encouraged to support the non-profit organizations working to protect women and children.