News | 25 Oct 2017
A coalition of civil society organisations are calling for a national strategic plan on gender-based violence (GBV) to include an expanded definition of GBV, filling the gaps in implementing existing laws, improved and expanded psycho-social services, increased investment in prevention and research and robust accountability mechanisms with suitable resources. In a shadow framework document released today, the Stop Gender Violence campaign maintains that if it is developed through broad-based national consultation and engagement, a national strategic plan to end GBV – like the one developed for HIV, AIDS and STIs – could be a powerful lever of change.
Gender-based violence is a persistent global challenge and one that costs South Africa between R28.4 billion and R42.4 billion per year – or between 0.9% and 1.3% of GDP (KPMG, 2014). Rates of GBV are believed to be extremely high in South African communities, with many civil society organisations reporting increasing levels of violence, particularly against young women. Significantly for South Africa, which has the largest HIV burden in the world, women who experience gender-based violence are at increased risk of HIV infection. While the South African government has committed to developing a plan to address gender-based violence through the Cabinet-approved National Council on Gender Based Violence (NCGBV), no national plan has yet been developed.
The National Strategic Plan (NSP) Shadow Framework Report and accompanying Policy Brief, developed by the Stop Gender Violence Campaign in extensive consultations with community groups and organisations, calls for local communities and civil society to put pressure on government to act and make sure that the voices of those affected by gender-based violence are taken into account.
Most importantly, it intensifies the call for the development of a National Strategic Plan (NSP) to end GBV that would align the country around a set of clear strategic priorities and create an accountability mechanism for the performance of government, the private sector and civil society organizations in addressing GBV. The Shadow Framework recommends:
The Shadow Framework concludes by calling on civil society, business and government to come together for the development, adoption and implementation of a costed and fully-funded national strategic plan to end gender-based violence.