Programme Director, and Director-General of the Department, Adv. Mikateko Joyce Maluleke
Distinguished Ministers of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide
Deputy Minister, Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen
I would like to welcome all of you to the Media Launch of the 2020 “16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children Campaign”.
This year marks 22 years since South Africa embarked on the United Nations led 16 Days of Activism campaign for No Violence against Women and Children. This campaign takes place annually from 25 November to 10 December. This launch also takes place during Disability Rights Awareness Month.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, our country is also faced with a second pandemic of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.
Our women and children continue to live in a constant state of fear, as indicated clearly by Minister Cele who recently released the Quarter 2 Crime Statistics Report.
Our focus with 16 Days of No Violence against Women and Children Campaign should be to continue our efforts of ending all forms of violence.
The theme for this year’s Campaign is entitled “Women’s Economic Justice for a Non-Violent and Non-Sexist South Africa”.
Through this theme, our focus is on the importance of women’s economic empowerment as an integral component of efforts to eradicate Gender-Based Violence and Femicide and build a non-sexist South Africa.
Therefore the campaign will be aligned to Pillar 2 and 5 of the National Strategic Plan focusing on Prevention and Rebuilding Social Cohesion and on Building Women’s Economic Power.
We will also highlight the significance of all six pillars under the broader 365 Days Behaviour Change Campaign.
While we appreciate all interventions, I believe that prevention remains the key element in turning the tide against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. We must eradicate the abuse and killing of women and children.
The theme also highlights the role of women in the world of work, access to opportunities, unfair treatment, and counted as an equal citizen even at male-dominated sectors. It also links to women’s ability to leave abusive relationships which they endure due to economic dependency.
With regard to action taken towards women’s economic power, we note with appreciation that several actions have been taken towards building women’s economic power.
South Africa is in the process of ratifying the International Labour Organisation (ILO) C190 which establishes a global standard for the protection of women in the world of work.
The aim is to ensure safe workplaces that are free of violence against women. This work also aims to galvanize national leadership for gender equality and addressing Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in the workplace at the highest levels of decision-making.
As a country, we have made a commitment to earmark 40% preferential procurement to women-owned businesses nationally.
A central coordinating mechanism has been curated with a national procurement task team coordinated by the Presidency to ensure that key actions are taken to achieve this target.
Initiatives aimed at fast tracking the empowerment of women-owned businesses to better take up opportunities within the implementation of the 40% preferential public procurement have been developed and would be implemented from December 2020 onwards.
Women would be capacitated on business registration and compliance, procurement and regulatory provisions, financial literacy, marketing tools and access to markets and access to finance and opportunities.
A training manual is being developed in this regard. These are some of the initiatives to be implemented to ensure that women fully gain back their rightful place in the economy and society.
The campaign targets South Africans at national, provincial, and district levels with the following 3 objectives:
To strengthen the implementation of the National Strategic Plan by all social partners
To expand on the call to action for men as partners and boys to stand against the rape and sexual abuse of women and children,
Lastly, to increase awareness and drive change in relation to negative social norms and behaviour. This will be done through multiple platforms, sectors and activism
Call to Action to the Nation
Having experienced the persistence horrific nature and the scourge of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in the country, I am calling upon the nation to recommit to programmatic intervention to:
Repair the social fabric of our nation by eradicate ills and build a society where morality takes prevalence.
Recommit to efforts of building communities grounded on positive values and re-dedicate to building a caring society in pursuit of creating, equality lasting and prosperity in the country. These values involve respect for human life and basic honesty in the way persons and officials act in communion with one another and the authorities.
Build men and women who understand the true meaning of words such as honesty and integrity, and who have respect for the rights of others.
Foster greater religious tolerance and cooperation for moral renewal.
Establish a new society, where men and women will enjoy equal rights and improve the elimination of the system that exploits women to achieve economic justice
Build a society where the ultimate goal is to create an opportunity for each person to establish a sufficient material foundation upon which to have a dignified, productive, and creative life.
Government continues to fight the scourge of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in the country within the framework of the National Strategic Plan.
The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide continue to do its part as a political liaison our efforts to address this second pandemic.
The IMC comprises of the Ministers of Justice and Correctional Services, Social Development, Police, Public Service and Administration, Finance and Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.
Our response to Gender-Based Violence is informed by the efforts to implement the 6 key pillars of the National Strategic Plan, namely:
Accountability, Leadership and Coordination
Prevention and Restoration of Social Fabric
Protection, Safety and Justice,
Response, Care, Support and Healing
Research and Information systems
As part of institutionalising the implementation of the National Strategic Plan, a number of processes have been employed by the Department to enforce accountability, provide leadership and coordinate implementation.
We are working with various Departments to prepare and submit weekly reporting to the President on progress made in implementation of targets set out in the National Strategic Plan.
The Department has successfully advocated for inclusion of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide as a standing agenda item on all Director Generals (DGs) clusters and Cabinet meetings. This is part of enhancing accountability and better coordination of the National Strategic Plan implementation;
We have also partnered with UN Women and civil society to institutionalize the multi-sectoral implementation of the National Strategic Plan.
In addition, all provinces are working on putting in place or strengthening and aligning coordinating structures to the National Strategic Plan. This process is essential as provinces also have to start reporting on progress.
Ultimately, this process will be replicated at the District Level championed by the Mayor.
As part of build-up activities leading to 16 days of activism campaign, The Department is in collaboration with the taxi industry on gender sensitization training.
The focus of this intervention is to build the capacity of the taxi operators on gender sensitization using the National Strategic Plan on Gender Based Violence and Femicide.
The training commenced amongst Provinces that are considered as hotspots for Gender-Based Violence. The intention is to expand this training across the country.
The Official Commemoration of 16 Days of Activism Campaign, 25 November 2020,
The first activity of the day will be the raising of the South African Flag to half-mast at the Union Buildings and across the nation to signify the 5 Days of Remembrance of the loved ones and citizens who lost their lives through Gender-Based Violence and Femicide and COVID-19. The event will start at 06h00 in morning.
Activity 2: Virtual Presidential Dialogue on GBVF
In the afternoon from 17:00-19:30, President Cyril Ramaphosa will hold a dialogue on a virtual platform with South Africans to engage on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.
The objective of the dialogue is to seek a broad range of voices in the hopes of reaching South Africans to work together to end gender-based violence. The dialogue will be live on TV and will be live-streamed on all social media platforms for public participation.
Handing over of BMWs
Before I conclude, I wish to inform you that at the end of this briefing, we will be handing over five i3 BMWs that were donated by to 5 civil society organisations.
These organisations are reflective of the sectors and mandate of the department, Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities. Children have also been included, as it is critical to include them in our interventions.
These organisations reflect an array of services in relation to gender-based violence and they provide the following services;
A shelter for abused victims in Tshwane. A youth Organisation targeting youth mostly, and it is known as Youth for Survival in Gauteng.
An organisation that renders services to children with a disability on mental health and its interlinkages to GBV in Chesterville. The organisation is Mzamo Child Guidance and training. (Kwa-Zulu Natal).
A Victim Support Centre Middelburg (Mpumalanga).
Disabled persons of South Africa organisation that has a provincial foot print in Limpopo province and also providing GBV related services to their sector across all ages.
Masimanyane organisation in the Eastern Cape where government piloted a Rapid Response Initiative on gender based violence and femicide which was led by the Premier and all key stakeholders.
In order to eradicate Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, we need society and government to work together to break the silence, report abuse and for men and boys to be partners as we work for a society free from Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.
I thank you!
Issued by Government Communications (GCIS) on behalf of the Ministry of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities
24 November 2020