Government summit on femicide gets under way


JOHANNESBURG, November 1 – More than 1,000 delegates are gathered in Irene, Pretoria, on Thursday to tackle the scourge of violence meted against South Africa’s women and girls.

The summit is convened by the government following a series of marches against gender-based violence by formations such as 100 Men March and #TotalShutdown, with the latter demanding that President Cyril Ramaphosa convene a summit.

”Over 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the summit. Invitations have been sent to various representatives from civil society organisations, traditional leaders, academics, faith organisations, labour, business, development agencies, media and the advertising sector,” said a statement from the government.

“Participants come from across the country and are the youth and women from both rural and urban areas.

”A number of interventions ranging from legislation, policies, programmes, community-based dialogues and awareness campaigns in communities have been made by the government over the years. Sadly, the country continues to witness high levels of violence against women and children.”

Delegates will come up with a roadmap to prevent violence against women, look into existing laws and policies, review response and support systems and come up with strategies to raise awareness in communities.

The latest report released by Statistics South Africa on gender-based violence indicates that 70,813 women experienced sexual violence in 2016/ 2017 compared to 31,665 in 2015/2016 – a 100 per cent increase.

Ramaphosa will address delegates on the first day. The summit ends Friday.

– African News Agency (ANA)