GBV is robbing women and girls of their freedom, say parliamentary officers
For many women and girls, freedom remains elusive because of persisting violence.
On Freedom Day, presiding parliamentary officers including national assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and chair of the national council of provinces Amos Masondo, said gender-based violence (GBV) and other issues continue to pervade SA, making present struggles different from those fought before 1994.
“Today GBV, drug abuse, inequality, joblessness and poverty are among the enemies destroying the lives of young people who constitute a significant portion of our population.
“Generations of freedom fighters, through their sacrifices, courage and resilience, created a platform for future generations to deepen the democratic gains and freedoms to ensure a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous and free SA.
“The struggle is ongoing and therefore we must as a people join hands to confront the current challenges which seek to undermine the gains attained post-1994.
“United in our diversity, we have the insurmountable strength to overcome our obstacles and push back the frontiers of unemployment, poverty and inequalities that continue to define the lives of the majority.
“For many women and girls in SA, freedom remains elusive due to the persisting violence, which continues to rob them of their human rights and undermines social and economic well-being.”
They believe the criminal law (sexual offences and related matters) amendment Act Bill, and the Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, passed recently, “will strengthen efforts to end GBV, with a victim-centred focus on combating this dehumanising pandemic”.
“While legislative interventions are key in discouraging GBV, equally important is dealing with backward social attitudes, cultural norms and patriarchal values that give rise to this repulsive scourge. The rights of women and girls are inextricably linked to our endeavour for radical economic revival and creation of a just and equal society.”
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