Gender council to engage communities

23 May 2013

The National Council Against Gender-Based Violence has completed its annual action plan and will soon be engaging with communities across the country, says Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana.

Delivering her department’s budget vote speech in Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Xingwana said the council would be conducting roadshows, consultation summits and educational campaigns in all nine provinces.

The council, launched on 10 December under the chairmanship of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, will support victims and survivors of gender-based violence and address all forms of violence against women and children in South Africa.

Xingwana said that, working together with the ministers of police, justice and correctional services, her department would continue to support, promote, coordinate and monitor access to justice for women.

“This includes effective and efficient services to all victims, such as the Sexual Offences Courts; the Family Violence and Sexual Offences Units in the South African Police Service; the training of police and forensic social workers; restorative justice as well as effective rehabilitation of offenders.”

UN praises South Africa’s stance

Xingwana noted that South Africa had registered its commitment to the United Nations campaign to Commit to End Violence against Women and Girls at a signing ceremony in New York in March.

Xingwana said that during the ceremony, Michelle Bachelet, the under secretary-general of UN Women, had commended South Africa for its solo stance in Africa on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identities as well as on the matter of sexual and reproductive rights for women and girls.

“We were also congratulated for developing a multi-sectoral approach towards fighting gender-based violence by launching the National Council against Gender-Based Violence … as well as launching the Orange Day campaign as part of our 365 Days National Action Plan,” Xingwana said.

Source: SAnews.gov.za