18 September 2019
After President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech at the Joint Sitting of Parliament on gender-based violence and femicide issues on 18 September 2019, ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is hopeful that our leaders may finally understand the magnitude of this crisis.
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers is aware of the shift in language, as the President states that the more appropriate way to refer to what is happening is to call it “Male perpetrated violence”, as opposed to Gender-Based Violence. This may very well be the first step in holding the perpetrators accountable, and a move away from the norm that has always put the responsibility of the crime on the victim. We recognize parliament’s acknowledgement of the fact that “women should not have to protect themselves from men”.
ACTIVATE! Change Drivers recognizes the five areas of intervention, as mentioned by the President. We especially anticipate positive results on the implementation of the call to “improve the economic power of women in our country” and to strengthen the criminal and justice system. We look forward to a South Africa that fights against the patriarchal society that uses the domination over women as measure of masculinity.
We recognize the President’s call to treat femicide as a state of emergency, as was suggested by the women who marched to Parliament on 5 September 2019, and anticipate a South Africa where perpetrators will be caught and will face the full might of the law. ACTIVATE! Change Drivers waits in anticipation for the results that will emanate from amending the laws and policies of South Africa to impose harsher punishments on rapists and murderers.
We agrees that Gender-Based Violence is not a problem of the women of South Africa, it is the problem of men. Men who are using violence to impose their dominion over women, men who are protecting these perpetrators, and men who are watching in silence as huge numbers of women and children are being raped and killed.
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ACTIVATE! is a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public good across South Africa. Connecting youth who have the skills, sense of self and spark to address tough challenges and initiate innovative and creative solutions that can reshape our society.
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