South Africa: Women Demand End to GBV, Others

As South Africa marks its Women’s Day, issues affecting women and girls have taken centre stage.

Development Diaries reports that hundreds of women around the country are marching throughout the day, calling an end to long-standing issues relating to gender equity, femicide, child maintenance and equal pay.

Officially commemorated as National Women’s Day, South African women who stood up to injustice and prejudice during the apartheid era are honoured for their selfless deeds and inspirational leadership.

Even though the day is meant to be a day of celebration, it is not a happy holiday for women and girls who have been left unprotected.

South Africa is reported to have one of the world’s highest rates of rape and murder of women, according to a BBC report.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) statistics reveal that there is a high prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful practices among adolescents and young women in East and Southern Africa.

It is acknowledged that more than 50 years after tens of thousands of women marched against it in Pretoria, GBV in the country is still at an all-time high.

South Africa recorded cases of 10,512 rape victims in the first three months of 2023, according to the country’s Police Minister, Bheki Cele.

In the midst of these staggering statistics, how well is the South African Police Service (SAPS) working to see a decline?

Development Diaries calls on the South African police to ensure the proper enforcement of the country’s Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007.

The law, which is also known as the Sexual Offences Amendment Act (SOAA), provides for the protection of victims, especially women, children and people living with mental disabilities that have been raped or have experienced sexual crimes.

Photo source: UNICEF


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