Is Fathers’ Day worth celebrating with arising GBV cases against Women?

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Over the last decade, statistics have proven that South Africa remains a country with high cases of domestic violences, and this has portrayed the country as a failed state to tackle the Gender Based Violence. Although effective measures of awareness have been implemented, this hasn’t made any impact to redress these burning issues, writes Thomas Lethoba.

As the country gears up to celebrate International Fathers’ Day today, the status of the Gender Based Violence in South Africa remains a major crisis facing the nation, particularly young women who are are being brutally killed by their partners.

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a profound and widespread problem in South Africa, impacting on almost every aspect of life. GBV which disproportionately affects women and girls is systemic and deeply entrenched in institutions, cultures and traditions in South Africa.

Over the past week, President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared GBV as a second pandemic in South Africa. He said that in fewer than 21 women and children have been murdered.

“It is deeply disturbing that the spike in crimes against women and children has coincided with the easing of the coronavirus lockdown,” Ramaphosa said in a televised speech to the nation.

According to Statistics SA, it stipulates that  population-based surveys show very high levels of intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner sexual violence (SV) in particular, with IPV being the most common form of violence against women.

Whilst people of all genders perpetrate and experience intimate partner and or sexual violence, men are most often the perpetrators and women and children the victims.

More than half of all the women murdered (56%) in 2009 were killed by an intimate male partner.

Between 25% and 40% of South African women have experienced sexual and/or physical IPV in their lives.

Whether alcohol and drug abuse is a factor or not, domestic violence and abuse is a very serious problem—for the victims and the abusers in South Africa.

The question that now spins in everyone’s mind in South Africa is whether Father’s Day is worth celebrating.

The country faces a crisis when it comes to GBV, more than 2,700 women were killed last year.

The recent murder of 28-year-old Tshegofatso Pule showed that the issue is not going away anytime soon.

However, the United Nations International campaign of ’16 Days of Activism for NO violence against Women and Children’ which takes place annually from 25 November to 10 December, has been properly being practiced by SA but this hasn’t made any impact as cases of GBV rises day in and day out, women are being killed, and perpetrators walk free in the streets and are not facing the might of the law.

Violence against women is rife. The lack of services for survivors and of effective responses by law enforcement officers makes this issue a human security problem.  South African justice system has to prevail to those abusing and killing vulnerable defenceless women.

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