The majority of shelters in South Africa are run by npo's that rely heavily on government funding in order to render much needed, very effective crises intervention services to hundreds of thousands of women and their children every year. Yet, the funding they receive from government to deliver this service is minimal and often very restrictive, unlike governments spending on ministers.
As Women’s Month draws to a close, about 130 vulnerable women living in shelters gathered on Thursday for a luncheon hosted by the Western Cape Women’s Shelter Network. Joy Lange, executive member of HBF's project partner, National Shelter Movement of SA, spoke to the Daily Maverick about the purpose of the event and some of the challenges facing shelters.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation is a feminist political foundation working regionally and globally. Gender democracy, the respect for women's dignity and autonomy, and the right to sexual diversity are core values underpinning our efforts to build equitable and just societies.
Abused mentally, physically and emotionally by her husband for 15 years, Nadia Louw says at first she did not believe she could be helped at St Anne’s Home. But after living there for three months she finally feels she is at home. Louw is one of thousands of women victims of abuse and domestic violence who seek help in shelters. But shelter managers say funding is a major problem, writes GroundUp.
Through the support of the HBF and NSM journalism fellowship, youth reporters in South Africa use the platform of radio to speak out against gender based violence and domestic violence. The fellowship was undertaken in partnership with the Children’s Radio Foundation.
“When I ran to the bathroom, locked the door behind me thinking I would be safe, he would kick a hole through that door and come through...I had to be obedient because I didn’t want to end up dead.” With these chilling words commences a video on the provision of shelter for abused women. Watch it here...
In his 2018 budget speech, Minister Gigaba emphasised the need to “lend a hand in addressing society's most pressing challenges”. Among a myriad of social challenges facing our country are the ever-present, persisting rates of violence against women and children. Shelters play a critical role in providing women with reprieve from domestic violence - women who, by and large, are economically disenfranchised. It is with this in mind, that the minister's budget must be interrogated.
Social protection is an important safety net for the poor yet not all will benefit from this. Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba recently announced government’s plan to increase its spending on social protection from R193.4 billion in the next financial year to R223.9 billion by 2021. Civil society organisations, however, questioned if this commitment to social protection will include sufficient funding for non-profit organisations, including shelters that provide services to vulnerable women and children who fall victim to domestic abuse.