’We should all hang our heads in shame that we have to launch a fund for GBV’
Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa this week launched a private sector-led, multi-sectoral Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund 1 aimed at supporting the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) and the wider GBVF response in the country.
Ramaphosa said the launch was to fulfil a promise made to women and children in the country – to end the violence against them.
The fund is a privately-led initiative with the help of the government. It is intended to expand on the government's work in fighting GBVF in the country and came two years after the 2018 GBVF summit which saw various members of civil society discuss the issues surrounding GBV in the country.
The president said the government's ability to spend money on various social issues had been constrained because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said government departments had pledged to support the fight against GBVF with R21 billion being pledged towards pillars of the NSP over a three-year period.
The launch saw various organisations pledging their support, including Business Unity SA (Busa), the Black Business Business Council and the UN.
Corporate donations have been made to the fund including R30 million from Anglo American, R10m from Absa, R20.2m from the Ford Foundation and R500000 from Sanlam.
The ceremony was mastered by broadcaster Faith Mangope and the speakers present were Busa CEO, Cas Coovadia, and Sibongile Ndashe, executive director of the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (Isla).
“We should all hang our heads in shame that we are having to launch a fund for gender-based violence but we need to deal with it,” said Coovadia.
He said it was important to look at GBV in the context of other injustices, including issues of equity for women and patriarchy that still persists not only in SA but across the globe.
Sandile Zungu, president of the Black Business Council, said GBV was not just a matter for human rights, but also a major impediment to economic development.
With the International Women’s Forum South Africa playing a leading collaborative role in this initiative, the launch exemplified collective and strategic leadership and partnership in the fight against this scourge.
Ngaa Murombedzi from Women and Men Against Child Abuse said they were glad to see this step taken by corporations and government to invest in empowering women and societies and engaging the underlying cause that manifests as GBV.
The Sunday Independent