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Gender-based violence and Femicide – A dreadful epidemic in South Africa

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a pervasive and deeply rooted issue in many societies around the world, and South Africa is unfortunately no exception. The country has grappled with high levels of GBV for many years, and it is often referred to as an epidemic due to the alarming rates of violence against women, children, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

Gender-based violence manifests in various forms that include physical, emotional, psychological, financial, or structural harm usually perpetrated by intimate partners, work colleagues, strangers, and even institutions






While many South African women and children fight for their lives, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu is accused of deliberately bungling a R100 million transfer of funds. Funds which were meant for empowerment programmes for the survivors of gender-based violence and femicide (Allegedly). According to Indiran Govender (2023) "Gender-based violence manifests in various forms that include physical, emotional, psychological, financial or structural harm usually perpetrated by intimate partners, work colleagues, strangers, and even institutions".


Despite legislative measures in place to address GBV, the enforcement of these laws can be weak. This may be due to a variety of factors, including inadequate training, resources, and a lack of sensitivity toward victims. Civil society organizations have taken steps to address gender-based violence, including the implementation of legislative measures, awareness campaigns, and support services for victims. However, the complex nature of the issue requires a multi-faceted approach that includes not only legal and policy measures but also changes in societal attitudes and economic structures.


Efforts to combat gender-based violence in South Africa and elsewhere require collaboration between government agencies, law enforcement, NGOs, and the community. Education and awareness campaigns that challenge harmful stereotypes, promote gender equality, and encourage reporting incidents are crucial components of any strategy to address this pervasive problem. Nearly half (48%) of citizens say violence against women and girls is a “somewhat common” (23%) or “very common” (25%) occurrence in their community.


988 women were killed between April 2020 and September 2022. This is Femicide. Femicide is generally understood to involve the intentional murder of women because they are women. We need to have effective support from the government, NGOs and civil society cannot fight this war on their own.






















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