Working together to end GBVF
Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) was declared a national crisis in South Africa in 2019. Today, in 2022, there are still people who don’t believe this problem exists. No less than 8 woman die every single day (if you look at the most recent crime stats from SAPS). Of course, it doesn’t start with femicide – the intentional killing of a womxn because of her gender, by the time this final tragic action happens there will have been multiple opportunities to intervene.
The game changer is to believe survivors, had someone in a position of authority simply taken the domestic violence survivor or the victim of stalking or workplace sexual harassment at their word they may not have ended up dead. Sadly, the perpetrators of all the crimes that lead to eventual femicide are known, and often respected, community members.
The National Strategic Plan (NSP) to end GBVF exists to bring the whole society together to end GBVF through co-ordinated action. In the absence of a Council, as envisaged in the NSP, committed gender activists across government, civil society, and the private sector, have been tirelessly working to ensure that implementation happens. By regularly measuring our progress against the NSP, we are taking collective responsibility for holding each other accountable and honouring the commitments made to all the womxn of South Africa in the Summit Declaration.
Since the NSP GBVF Implementation Collaborative came into being in 2020, there have been a number of small victories that promise to be a massive boost to the country’s GBVF response. The work is organised into 6 Pillars or working areas dealing with: Accountability, coordination & leadership; Prevention & rebuilding social cohesion; Justice, safety & protection; Response, care, support & healing; Economic power; and Research & Information Management. These pillars are interrelated and interdependent, making the efforts of the NSP GBVF Implementation Collaborative all the more significant, as we find ways to continually improve the coordination of various efforts.
At present, we are piloting the 100-Day Challenge model in seven districts as a way to fast-track localisation of the NSP GBVF at municipal level. 100-Day Challenges are carefully designed projects that inspire frontline teams and leaders to collaborate, innovate and execute in more intense and accelerated ways. Teams representing each of the six pillars have facilitated a process of setting challenges directly linked to the outcomes of the NSP GBVF in each of these districts. Much of the preparation has been done ahead of the official “Day 1” on 1 April 2022.
The focus areas are based on priorities in each of the seven districts, these include: the establishment of rapid response structures, tackling toxic masculinity, humanising service delivery within the justice system, clearing the backlog of maintenance cases, providing adequate psycho-social and legal support to victims of GBV, addressing workplace sexual harassment, and improving and expanding on integrated data management in child sexual and related offenses.
Visit https://www.gbvf.org.za to follow the 100-Day Challenges, learn more about the NSP GBVF, or join us as we #endGBVF.