07 March 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As the world commemorates International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2022, we are reminded of the sad reality of the high rate of Gender Based Violence and Femicide (GVBF) in South Africa. While the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) acknowledges efforts by the government to address gender equality and women’s rights violations, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done. Women, girls and gender non-conforming (GNC) people in South Africa continue to experience GBVF, including the worst forms of violations of their rights on a daily basis. Women, girls and GNC people are violated by relatives, community members, at the work place and even in institutions of higher learning and religious spaces. Women and girls with disabilities, and LGBTI+ people face terrible violations, and much more must be done to protect their rights. GBVF knows no age boundary; elderly women also experience abuse, with some accused of witchcraft, especially in the rural areas.
In commemorating International Women’s Day, the FHR calls on government institutions, civil society organizations, religious and traditional leaders as well as communities to amplify their voices and increase their efforts to end GBVF. In line with the global theme for 2022, #BreaktheBias, the FHR urges all people in South Africa to collectively end the bias, stereotyping and discrimination against women, girls and GNC people.
As a nation we must build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive country where difference is valued and celebrated. The government must increase its efforts to ensure women’s equality across political, economic and social life. Economic empowerment for women and girls must be strengthened to prevent economic dependence on men that many women endure. Women, girls and GNC people must be given access to information and services, especially in rural communities, so that they can claim their rights. Communities must take the responsibility of educating young people about gender equality and human rights, to assist in addressing harmful patriarchal stereotypes that perpetuate GBVF. Government must adhere to gender-responsive budgeting across all sectors, as well as allocating sufficient resources to the justice sector, so that perpetrators can be prosecuted, and survivor’s access justice. We have a shared responsibility to build a South Africa where all women, girls and GNC people live safely, and are free to enjoy all their rights as enshrined in the constitution.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Ms Litlhare Rabele Gender Programme Manager
Tel: 011 484 0390/ email@example.com