Civil society groups welcome GBVF response fund
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Cape Town - Civil society organisations have welcomed the private sector-led Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
The fund is aimed at financing and supporting the implementation of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF and expanding the government's work in fighting this scourge in the country.
The Call to Action Collective movement said that while the establishment of the fund was a step in the right direction, they cautioned both the private and public sector against leaving civil society organisations out of discussions about the structure and function of the fund.
‘We believe that civil society holds a wealth of information on provision of services, responding to the need and creating a continued response to GBV as those who have been in the forefront of the response.
“We seek clarity on how the secretariat will be constituted and the criteria which will be used for funding distribution. We look forward to working with the GBVF Response Fund to ensure that patriarchy is dismantled and gender-based violence is eradicated in all spheres of society,” the movement said.
Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siyabulela Monakali said the fund was indicative of a commitment by the private sector towards addressing the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.
“Through this commitment we look forward to working in collaboration with the private sector, government and other stakeholders to ensure broadening the access of support services to survivors and their families as well as to providing equal access to resources for all civil society organisations from grassroots level and beyond.
“Gender-based violence and femicide is a human rights issue that affects us all, and its consequence poses a significant threat not only to the women, children and families that are directly affected but has a negative impact on the development of society as a whole,” Monakali said.
Rape Crisis director Kath Dey said the launch of the fund was a critical step towards securing the money needed for the scourge of the GBV that has plagued the country.
“The lack of transparency and accountability around the R80 million allocated to direct payments to civil society via the National Development Plan has made the sector wary of empty promises and ambiguous processes.
“We are pleased that a commitment has been made to independent governance, ethical leadership, inclusivity and procedural transparency and we thank the International Women's Forum for their involvement in guiding the process of establishing the fund and the pro bono partners for their services,” Dey said.