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Parliament calls for intensified fight against gender-based violence

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula was speaking at the unveiling of a life-size statue of late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu early this year.

Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 9, 2023


Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo have called for an end to gender-based violence (GBV) in the country, saying it remains a scourge.

Parliament passed three crucial gender-based violence laws to crackdown on gender-based violence cases.

Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo said as South Africa marks Women’s Day on Wednesday it should remember that there are many battles that lie ahead for women.

But GBV remains a serious problem in the country and they hope the police will be able to deal with it.

Recent crime statistics released by Police Minister Bheki Cele have shown an increase in the number of women and children killed.

The presiding officers said the three GBV laws were meant to protect women and children against abuse.

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Bill, the Criminal and Related Matters Bill and Domestic Violence Bill in January last year.

He said these laws will strengthen the fight against GBV.

The laws were pushed through to Parliament by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola following the increase in the murder of women and children.

Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo said the country needs to ramp up the fight against GBV.

“As we celebrate the progress we've achieved, we recognise the challenges that still persist. Gender-based violence remains a blight on our society, affecting women and girls. Parliament, acknowledging the urgency of this issue, has taken vital steps to combat this pandemic, which include passing three comprehensive laws aimed at strengthening our fight against gender-based violence. These laws reinforce our commitment to protecting the rights and dignity of all women and girls, while ensuring that perpetrators face the full force of the law.

“Under the oversight of the police committee, the police department's capacity to effectively combat gender-based violence and femicide continue to undergo rigorous examination. This includes a focused evaluation of the commitment to ensuring police stations are equipped with dedicated desks specifically designed to handle cases of gender-based violence, the implementation of gender-based violence desks, provision of essential evidence collection kits to stations, addressing attitudes of certain police officers, as well as the training of police officers in victim empowerment to creation victim-friendly services,” said Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo.

The presiding officers also said the country still needs to have more women in decision-making processes.

This was another battle that has to be won to ensure gender equality.

The recent report by the Employment Equity Commission found that there were still fewer women in top positions in the corporate sector.

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