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Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on 16 days of activism: ‘Let’s all make sure GBV is history’

28 November 2021 - 13:00
Minister of women Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says GBV and femicide 'remain the second pandemic of our country'.
Minister of women Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says GBV and femicide 'remain the second pandemic of our country'.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe/The Times

Minister in the presidency for women, youth and persons with disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has paid tribute to many victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide, saying the scourge against women and children should be a thing of the past.

Nkoana-Mashabane was speaking in Soweto at the launch of this year's 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign on Thursday.

The campaign comes less than a week after police minister Bheki Cele revealed that close to 10,000 people had been “brutalised and sexually violated” between July and September.

According to the women’s rights NGO People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa), male siblings and intimate partners were among the most likely perpetrators to commit violence and abuses against women.

“Gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide remain the second pandemic of our country, and most of our communities have witnessed the devastating impacts of this pandemic. Our country, our women, our children are not safe, don’t feel safe.

“We need to take accountability and responsibility for our own actions. We should not look away. Let’s all make sure GBV is history,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.

She said the pillars of the national strategic plan on GBV and femicide should be exercised in all departments and reported on regularly.

“This year we have had the opportunity to see the first rollout of the national strategic plan on GBV. I would like us to focus on these pillars, which include accountability, co-ordination, leadership, prevention, rebuilding social cohesion, protection, safety, justice, response, care, support, healing and economic power.”

The minister emphasised accountability was paramount and everyone has a responsibility to speak up when women and children are abused.

“Next year when we meet, Soweto will no longer be on this top 30 list. We need accountability in all these spheres. We need to make sure GBV is history and we need a collaborative approach to do that.”


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