Gender violence in the Spotlight

How government shirks responsibility in fighting gender-based violence

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of The African National Congress (ANC) expressed grave concern at the recent spate of brutal killings of women and children. It commissioned a special presentation by the Wits City Institute on gender-based violence with a specific focus on intimate partner femicide.

Professor. Amanda Gouws, Professor of Political Science at Stellenbosch University addressed the issue of gender-based violence in a column last week, where she argued that South Africa lacks the political will to combat the problem.

She speaks to CapeTalk's John Maytham about the problem.

The ANC would make a statement like that and also then say civil society must get involved, street committees, communities and so on which is part of what I've argued in my article.

Professor. Amanda Gouws, Professor of Political Science, Stellenbosch University

But we need to look at the actions of, for example, the African National Congress Women's League.

Professor. Amanda Gouws, Professor of Political Science, Stellenbosch University

Gouws says the ANCWL league fails to look at the underlying causes and complexities of a society like South Africa's.

ANCWL's shifting the responsibility to civil society shows the lack of government will to invest money in tackling gender-based violence, she adds.

Gouws adds that there also needs to be a change in the sensationalism and narratives around the reporting of gender-based violence.

Statistics were released by the South African Police Services (Saps) over the weekend showing that between early April and mid-May, 62 women were killed in Gauteng, of which 53 were killed by their partners.

The more shocking and the more brutal the killing of a woman is, then it becomes news and spirals into a huge outcry. But what that does is, it normalises the violence against women.

Professor. Amanda Gouws, Professor of Political Science, Stellenbosch University

Listen to the full analysis here:


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