24 November 2017
The African National Congress Women's' League (ANCWL) honours the global 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, which runs from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) through to International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
This campaign remains a fundamental tool in creating awareness on the negative impacts of violence on women and children. The ANCWL under the leadership of President Bathabile Dlamini and her collective, subscribes to 365 days of activism of no violence against women and children and is of the firm view that the fight against gender based violence should be a societal issue. All members of the society must be at the forefront to defend the rights of women and children.
Physical assaults and sexual violences
It is sad reality that in South Africa 23yrs of democracy in the country, women and children are still subjected to horrendous brutalities of being raped, killed and being assaulted. The latest South African Police (SAPS) statistics indicates that 170 616 women suffered grievously bodily harm and 156 450suffered common assaults in South Africa. A total of 39 828rapes and 6,271 sexual assaults were recorded by the Police in 2016/17 financial year. The ANCWL calls for the law enforcement to deal decisively with the perpetrators of crime against women and children.
The ANCWL supports the proposal by the Chairperson of the Parliament Portfolio on Police, Honourable Francois Beukman that amongst others there must be compulsory consequence management for SAPS members at all levels who respond inadequately to complaints relating to violence against women and children; ongoing training and capacity-building programmes for SAPS first responders to deal with victims of domestic and sexual violence; allocation of more resources to the SAPS Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units; management of complaints of violence against women and children be a key performance area for SAPS station commanders and complainants who do not receive adequate service should immediately escalate complaints to shift, station, cluster commanders and provincial commanders and the National Commissioner, and also copy the Civilian Secretariat on the complaints.
The ANCWL welcomes the outcomes of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein for increasing the sentence of Oscar Pretorius to 13yrs in prison for the gruesome murder of Reeva Steenkamp in 2013. It has been ANCWL's position that six yrs was a lenient sentence and the SCA vindicated us. The ANCWL also welcomes the decision by Eastern Cape High Court sitting in Port Elizabeth to sentence Christopher Panayiotou to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife Jayde and to sentence his two co-accused for life plus 15 years and 15 years respectively. The Courts must give harsher sentences to those convicted for gender based violence.
Economic violence against women
South Africa is entrenched in economic violence against women. There is conscious decision by the fanatics of patriarchy and male chauvinist to exclude women, African in general, black in particular from the economic activities of the country. The intention is to subject black women into being dependents and economic beggars. The dominance of males in management, control and ownership of various economic sectors in the country perpetuates economic violence against women. There is urgent need for the fundamental changes in the structures, systems and patterns of ownership, management and control of economy in favour of women in South Africa. Women must also owners of land in the country.
The ANCWL demands that all government departments prioritises gender based budgeting for their programs to address gender inequalities. The Parliament must also desist from its alleged plans to embark into process of collapsing the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) and merge it with other Chapter 9 Institutions. Instead Parliament must advocate for the CGE to be well resourced like any other Chapter 9 institutions for it to execute its constitutional mandate effectively and efficiently. The CGE must be accorded the status of the Chapter 9 institutions in theory and in practice. The CGE must be strengthen to evaluate and monitor gender equality in all government departments, State owned companies and private sector without fear and favour and must make legally binding recommendations to address gender inequalities. Parliament must also legislate 50/50 % gender parity in all sectors at all levels before the end of 2018/19 financial year.
In this campaign of 16 days of activism of no violence against women and children, the ANCWL urges all South Africans to re-commit and work together to eradicate the scourge of violence against women and children. The ANCWL across the length and breadth of the country will be having various programs during this campaign and members of the society are encouraged to participate.
Stop gender based violence!!!
Radical economic transformation now or never!!!
ANCWL Secretary General
Cde Toko Xasa
+27 82 652 31317