Gender Democracy

English
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Stakeholders working to combat Gender-Based Violence question to what extent the 2017/18 budget reflect government’s commitment to effectively meet the true costs associated with addressing violence against women and children.
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While the holiday season brings quality family time, it also brings out a more sinister side of many households. According the provincial branch of the National Shelter Movement (NSM), the season is a time of increased risk of domestic violence and intimate partner violence.

Violence against women is a significant problem that profoundly affects the physical and mental wellbeing of those affected. While medicolegal interventions in South Africa have been firmly established to respond to sexual offences, no formal protocols on intimate partner violence interventions at primary healthcare level are in place yet.

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Domestic violence survivors rely on shelters to help leave life threatening relationships – and navigate the obstacles of the criminal justice system.

Shelters for abused women play a critical role in providing protection, care and psychosocial support to those affected by Gender-Based Violence. The Domestic Violence Act (1998) enshrines the state’s obligation to provide survivors of abuse with shelters, but whilst the act is a crucial piece of legislation, the provision of sheltering services has not been without its challenges. HBS Project Manager Claudia Lopes recently spoke to SAfm about a new project which aims to support state accountability for adequate and effective provision of domestic violence survivor support programmes, specifically those associated with the provision of shelter for abused women.

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June is notable for having two commemorative days dedicated to younger persons: International Children’s Day1 on the 1 st of June and South Africa’s Youth Day on June 16. Sadly, however, there remains very little for young people in South Africa to celebrate, particularly in the light of excessive levels of violence and sexual abuse directly targeting or negatively impacting young persons.

In a new project launching tomorrow (Friday, 20 May) – Enhancing State Responsiveness to Gender-Based Violence: Paying the True Costs – the National Shelter Movement (NSM) of South Africa joins forces with the Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF) Southern Africa to keep the spotlight squarely focused on domestic violence in South Africa (SA) and how government interventions meet the diverse needs of survivors.

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Gender-based violence, and in particular violence aimed at women, cost South Africa between R28.4 billion and R42.4bn for the period 2012/2013. This, according to a KPMG report, “Too costly to ignore – the economic impact of gender-based violence in South Africa”, represented 0.9 percent and 1.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), respectively.

With this edition of Perspectives, the Heinrich Böll Foundation seeks to unpack some of the underlying tensions and challenges facing the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights on Africa.

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Cape Town - A striking mural in Khayelitsha about the abuse of women has had an unusual effect on residents, who say they want more paintings depicting the problems facing their communities.

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