Johannesburg, 13 February, 2013:
A grouping of fifteen civil society organisations representing the gender and women’s rights sector, many of which provide prevention and support services for women, young people and the victims and survivors of gender-based violence have written to President Zuma. The group is urging the President to set up of a commission of inquiry into gender based violence.
In a letter sent to the Presidency, the groups also called for the establishment of a R10 billion rand multi-stakeholder fund, to support women’s organisations. They noted the closure of many women’s groups in the last few years, and urged the private sector and wealthy individuals to contribute towards the establishment of the fund.
Cherith Sanger from Sonke Gender Justice Network was quoted as saying, “We are all hoping that that the President uses the State of the Nation Address in Cape Town tomorrow to speak to kinds of political and financial commitments the country will make in the coming year, to prevent violence against women.”
The President’s speech will take place against the backdrop of a spate of rapes and murders that have been reported in the Western Cape. In addition, issues of safety and security for women are high on the list of concerns for residents of Khayelitsha, and where a provincial Commission of Inquiry into reports of SAPS inefficiency in Khayelitsha and the breakdown of trust between the Khayelitsha community and the police have lead to discontent in the past few months.
The organisations that endorsed the letter include:
- Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR)
- National Shelter Movement of South Africa
- New Women’s Movement
- People Opposed to Women Abuse (POWA)
- South African Council of Churches (SACC)
- Sonke Gender Justice Network
- South African Women in Dialogue (SAWID)
- Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC)
- Western Cape Network on Violence Against Women
- Western Cape Women’s Shelter Movement
- World Vision South Africa
- Women’s Health Research Unit, University of Cape Town
- Women’s Legal Centre (WLC)