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Statement on the launch of POWA- GBV Mobile App

Statement on the launch of POWA- GBV Mobile App

15 August 2017

The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) celebrates the progressive initiative for fighting gender based violence (GBV) launched by People's Opposing Women's Abuse (POWA), former AU Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula and Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini.

The ANCWL is delighted that the launching of this initiative coincided with the 92nd birthday of the former President of the ANCWL Mama Gertrude Shope. Mama Shope was born on this day, 15 August in 1925 and spent all her life in the forefront of the fight against oppression. The ANCWL under President Bathabile Dlamini and her collective salutes Mama Shope for her selfless contribution in the liberation struggle. Happy birthday selfless leader of the revolution for women emancipation. The struggle for gender equality continues.

The ANCWL congratulates POWA on the initiative of a mobile App which provides victims of GBV an easy and quick access to the much needed services as Police, Ambulances and Social Workers. The services will be coordinated and implemented through an integrated GBV command centre at the Department of Social Department. The App can be accessed through Short Message Service (SMS) (31531), USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) (*120*7867#) and Skype contact (HelpmeGBV).

The ANC led government and Corporate sector must avail resources at their disposal to fund this initiatives aimed at eradicating GBV in South Africa. The cost of data in the country must be reduced. All category B municipalities across the country must be assisted with resources to roll out free WiFi in their jurisdictions. Technology has a role to play in the fight against GBV.

The ANCWL calls on the ANC led government to adequately resource other institutions as the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE). To effectively promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. The ANCWL further calls for government to ensure that CGE has its full compliment of Commissioners and staff in order to be more accessible in particular to the rural poor and working class and the CGE must establish fully functional offices in all Provinces and work closely with municipalities. The CGE must also lobby other like minded institutions to demand that compulsory curriculum on gender equality is introduced from grade R to undergraduate level. It is ANCWL's position that CGE must be accorded the same status of other Chapter 9 institutions and have its remedial actions binding and enforceable until set aside by a court of law.

Whilst spearheading the campaign for an end to all forms of violence against women, children and other vulnerable groups; the ANCWL believes that all members of society must be form part of this campaign. As an organization we warmly welcome the feedback and constructive criticism. We applaud those that support our view that the campaign against GBV cannot be relegated to women structures alone and other sectors of society whilst some individuals remain armchair critics correcting the ANCWL approaches from the sidelines.

The attainment of a society free from any forms of gender oppression lies in the hands of all South Africans. The struggle for recognition, equality and human rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people, intersex people (LGBTI) must also be afforded equal attention by the society. Through their various platforms, all media houses must play a role of informing and educating the society on gender equality. SABC as a public broadcaster must lead in this regard. Any shows/ stories/ adverts promoting gender stereotypes and prejudices must be banned.

The ANCWL calls its supporters, members and society in general to unite and defeat gender inequalities. Government must pass legislation on 50/50 % gender parity in all sectors at all levels. Any person convicted for gender based violence must be given harsher sentence.

Issued by

Meokgo Matuba
ANCWL Secretary General

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