Medical Research Council to start third national femicide study next month

With the tragic stream of women dying at the hands of violent men, conversations around femicide are gaining momentum.

The latest victim to make headlines is Natasha Conabeer, a 23-year-old University of KwaZulu-Natal student who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and then left to die outside her home.

The South African Medical Research Council is about to start its third “national femicide study” in October.

The council's gender and health research unit's acting director, Prof Naeemah Abrahams explains that the study will be built on two previous studies.

The first one, we looked at the women killed in 1999 and then we repeated the study and looked at women killed in 2009. This gave us the very picture of the most severe form of violence against women.

Prof Naeemah Abrahams, Acting Director - Medical Research Council's gender and health research unit

Our interest was to find who perpetrates these femicides because to be able to understand who the perpetrators are we are able to look at interventions.

Prof Naeemah Abrahams, Acting Director - Medical Research Council's gender and health research unit

What we found in 1999, there was more than 1,300 women killed by intimate partners. These are not all the women killled in our country, these are just where we were able to identify. In 2009, we saw a decrease and that was just over 1,000.

Prof Naeemah Abrahams, Acting Director - Medical Research Council's gender and health research unit

We have been trying to convince government that they should do this every five years but obviously resources are limited. So the MRC and Ford Foundation has finally agreed for us to start this again.

Prof Naeemah Abrahams, Acting Director - Medical Research Council's gender and health research unit

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...


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