Gender-based violence in South Africa

The high rates of gender-based violence (GBV) in South Africa, further highlighted by a number of high-profile cases over the last few years, has given rise to significant public support to end GBV. Government has made some efforts towards ending GBV, but these have been marred by inefficient coordination and almost no budget provisions made towards prevention and services.

One such effort towards effective coordination was the National Council on Gender-Based Violence (NCGBV), a council created for the purpose of drafting, costing, and implementing a national strategic plan (NSP) to combat GBV. Since its formation in 2012, it has been destabilised by political changes and lack of funding to execute its mandate. There has been no official word on its status since 2014 when former Minister of Women, Susan Shabangu, was appointed and the Ministry failed to reconstitute it and provide an update on its status.

Stop Gender Violence: A National Campaign

In response, civil society organisations across the country came together in 2014 to form the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence (NSP GBV) campaign, demanding a fully-costed, evidence-based, multi-sectoral, inclusive and comprehensive NSP to end GBV. The campaign’s mandate and objectives have since broadened to holistically address and respond to GBV more broadly. As such, the campaign was renamed in May 2016 to Stop Gender Violence: A National Campaign.

The campaign has carried out the following activities since its inception:

  • Research and policy work on civil society’s NSPGBV shadow framework – a framework to inform the aim of a government-led NSPGBV.
  • Provincial engagements with grassroot organisations and beneficiaries to to ensure that grassroots voices are able to shape the NSPGBV agenda.
  • Capacity-building and administrative support to civil society groups in advancing efforts of the campaign.
  • The production of technical materials and briefs to strengthen the content of the NSPGBV.
  • A petition in 2014, signed by South Africans demanding an NSP on GBV. Find the link here.
  • A postcard campaign in 2014 with individualised personal stories of women affected by GBV, which are posted to the Minister of Women, urging action. You can see these here.
  • Marches across the country in 2014 demanding an NSP on GBV and calling for an end to lip service, unfunded mandates, and no more empty promises.

The campaign launched its NSPGBV shadow framework in October 2017 and is currently in the process of engaging government to ensure the uptake of the NSPGBV. Diagnostic review of government strategies to address violence against women and children

In 2014 KPMG was commissioned to conduct a diagnostic review of government strategies to address violence against women and children (VAWC) and what could be done to strengthen them. It reviews both the institutional and programmatic mechanisms by which the state addresses violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC). It considers the ‘whole of government’ response, covering overarching challenges faced by 11 key departments with roles to address VAWC. It considers the state response across the three spheres of government: national, provincial and local.

The report was embargoed for many months but is now finally available online at evaluations.dpme.gov.za. We place them here for ease of access and to make sure they remain easily available for civil society activists and researchers:

See our short video on why we need an NSP on GBV here.

Like our Facebook page (NSP GBV Campaign) and follow us on Twitter (@NSPGBV).

To join the campaign, email the membership form (found here) to taskteamnspgbv@googlegroups.com.

“No more empty promises! No more unfunded mandates! No more lip-service!”