South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Monday launched a campaign against gender-based violence and labeled it “a great shame.”
During the launch ceremony in Lephalale, Limpopo Province, the President said that Limpopo and other provinces have seen a rise in gender-based violence over the past recent months.
The campaign, known as “16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children,” coincided with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which falls on November 25.
He said: “Violence against women and children goes against our African values and everything we stand for as a people.
“As I stand before you, I invoke the memories of the many women and girls in this province and throughout the country, who have suffered from the brutality of men,’’
The national campaign is aimed at raising awareness around the rights of women and girls and changing the attitudes of men and boys.
“I will say it again – violence against women is not a problem of women, it is a problem of men,’’ he said.
Ramaphosa urged men to play their part in raising awareness around the rights of women.
He said his government had heard the calls by the communities, including the people of Lephalale, to do more to end gender-based violence.
Two months ago, the government announced an Emergency Action Plan that has seen 1.6 billion rands ($108 million) of government funding reprioritised towards programmes to tackle gender-based violence.
It focusses on improving access to justice for survivors, prevention campaigns to change attitudes and behaviour and measures to strengthen the criminal justice system.
The government, he said, is also working to reduce the gender-based violence case backlogs at forensic laboratories and is developing a tracking mechanism to be rolled out in January 2020.