Millions raised for gender- based violence response fund
By Zainul Dawood 42m ago
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DURBAN – THE Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) response fund aimed at supporting the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) and the wider GBVF response in the country raised millions of rand during its launch yesterday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the creation of the fund was a fulfilment of a resolution of the GBVF declaration which followed the 2018 GBVF Summit. The summit brought together government, civil society and other role players in an effort to find lasting interventions to end GBVF.
The GBVF-NSP was produced by the interim steering committee established in April 2019. The strategy would address the needs and challenges faced by women across all ages and sexual orientation.
Ramaphosa said the high levels of GBV was a blight on our national conscience. Ramaphosa said the first phase of GBVF fulfilled a promise made to women and children in the country, to end the violence.
There are five interventions: to support GBV survivors and families, broaden access to justice, to drive social change through awareness raising campaigns and programmes, strengthen existing programmes to fight GBV and broaden access to economic activity to women.
The Body of Evidence digital campaign against GBV spokesperson Mandla Mbothwe said it was encouraging to know that the public outcry was being heard and the issue suitably acknowledged.
“It’s most definitely a step in the right direction, not only in creating increased awareness around the impact of this issue on our society, but also in making much-needed funds available to help survivors rebuild their lives. We are in a gender-based war zone, and there’s no time to waste. We need to continue challenging current behaviours and finding new ways of dealing with one another through compassion, empathy and respect,” Mbothwe said.
Business Unity South Africa’s Cas Coovadia said GBVF was sad, tragic and a critical issue in South Africa. Coovadia said we should hang our head in shame that we have to launch a fund to tackle and deal with it.
“We must introduce measures to identify, deal with and eradicate GBV in the workplace. It must also be recognised as a broad societal issue. It was not just money, 16 days of activism and publicity. We all have to come together in society and dig a bit deeper into our souls. Our society has become a violent one. There seems to be something wrong with a psyche. We need to restore family values in what we lost. Question ourselves about it. Take personal responsibility for the scourge in this country,” Coovadia said.
The President of the Black Business Council and Amazulu Football Club owner Sandile Zungu said it could not be that 50% of the population was born in and raised in an environment where they not appreciated.
“The subjugation of women is wrong and evil. GBV is not a matter of human rights. It is also a major impediment to economic development. Fighting GBV is a business imperative. It must be done. It is a noble effort to champion the course of women, ” he said.
Sibongile Ndashe, the founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Strategic Litigation, said the ineffective criminal justice system needed to be overhauled.
The International Women’s Forum South Africa (IWFSA) Irene Charnley said the GBV statistics were frightening, alarming and terrifying. She said the fund would have accountability and governance.
Many companies pledged millions towards the GBVF yesterday.