From the 4th to the 11th of December, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, Dubravka Šimonović, conducted her first official visit to South Africa. The aim of her visit was to examine the causes and consequences of violence against women and children. The Special Rapporteur, Ms Dubravka Šimonović, not only met with government officials and departments, but was very eager to engage with civil society on these issues. On the 11th of December, she released her initial report of this visit.
The National Strategic Plan (NSP) on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) campaign is pleased to note that Ms Šimonović, has, in such a short time, grasped the varied and multiple challenges various stakeholders are facing in bringing an end to GBV. In her report, she outlined the need for significant reform in the police, the judiciary and in terms of state coordination. She addressed the fact that significant attention must be given to prevention and awareness raising which she described as an “urgent need”.
The campaign for an NSP on GBV is particularly pleased that Ms Šimonović, has supported our call for a National Strategic Plan on GBV. She states, “I support the call for a National Plan to end GBV which… will create the necessary roadmap needed to effectively respond to this pandemic.” She further adds that any efforts to end GBV will be in vain if significant resources are not made available and, therefore, states that Treasury must be more effective in regards to gender budgeting.
The Special Rapporteur’s report gives life to the ethos of our campaign which is that there should be no more lip service, no more empty promises and no more unfunded mandates! We hope that the government of South Africa will pay attention to the findings of the Special Rapporteur’s report, and finally take the steps to end GBV that civil society has been calling for since the beginning of democracy.
The National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence Campaign – a coalition of 33 civil society organisations.
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