S. African gov't stresses urgency to stem rising gender-based violence

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-31 00:06:04|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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CAPE TOWN, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The South African government stressed the urgency on Tuesday to stem rising gender-based violence (GBV) that "has reached worrying proportions."

"Government and civil society agree that the time has come for gender-based violence and femicide to be given the urgency it deserves by all South Africans," government spokesperson Phumla Williams said.

The government calls on all citizens and communities to take a stand and support efforts that contribute towards ending GBV and report cases of violence to the authorities, said Williams, who is also Acting Director-General of the Government Information and Communication System (GICS).

She was speaking after Statistics South Africa released a report which shows that 70,813 South African women experienced sexual offences in 2016/2017, as compared to 31,665 in 2015/2016, a more than 100-percent increase.

To stem GBV, the government has made a number of interventions ranging from legislation, policies, programs, community-based dialogues and awareness campaigns in communities over the past few years, Williams said.

Despite the interventions, the country continues to witness high levels of violence against women and children, Williams said.

She said the government will host a GBV Summit on November 1-2 in Centurion near Johannesburg.

Invitations have been sent to various representatives from civil society organizations, traditional leaders, academics, faith-based organizations, labor, business, development agencies, media and advertising sector, according to Williams.

Over 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the summit which will create a platform of engagement to reflect critically on initiatives to date and identify actions of improvement, Williams said.

The summit, she said, will outline a roadmap to free South Africa from GBV, align different initiatives to create mechanisms and processes for effective coordination and establish a commitment to resourcing and accountability.