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Lindiwe Zulu calls on SA to challenge inequality, patriarchy to fight GBV

13 November 2020 - 05:56 By cebelihle bhengu
Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu.
Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu.
Image: Linda Mthombeni

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu has urged South Africans to take a stand against abuse as the country gears up for 16 Days of Activism.

Zulu called on communities to challenge societal constructs like patriarchy and gender inequality as these contribute to gender-based violence (GBV). 

“As a society, we must address the inequalities based on gender, race and sexual orientation, address harmful religious and cultural beliefs and practices and introduce empowering economic and social policies,” said the minister.  

The minister was speaking this week at the conclusion of the 10-day walk against GBV. The walk started in Heidelberg, Gauteng, and concluded at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban.

Zulu said the department is committed to providing support to victims of GBV, not only through the provision of shelters and help centres, but also through the amendment and introduction of legislation which will further curb GBV.

“We are reforming legislation through amendments of various pieces of legislation that will ensure that our laws are tightened to curb GBV and femicide. We have presented to cabinet a victim support services bill that has gone for public comments and it is meant to ensure a victim-centred approach in the criminal justice system,” said the minister.

President Cyril Ramaphosa shone some light on the “second pandemic” that is GBV during his address to the nation on Wednesday. He urged South Africans to mourn victims who died from both Covid-19 and GBV.

“The cabinet has decided that from 25-29 November, the nation should embark on five days of mourning for the victims of Covid-19. We will let the national flag fly at half-mast throughout the country from 6am to 6pm on those days. We call upon all South Africans to wear a black armband or other signs of mourning to signify our respect for those who have departed,” said the president.

On victims of Covid-19, Ramaphosa said this should be done to demonstrate a commitment to fight and overcome the pandemic.