With augmentation in COVID-19 cases globally, other off-shoot troubles related to it, be it economic fallout or augmented violence, have taken precedence to augment the difficulties of the common people.
Recognising the augmentation in violence especially gender-based violence, on August 9, South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said that South Africa, the worst-hit African country by the COVID-19 pandemic, faces a second crisis that is gender-based violence.
The statement was made by the President as the country marked its Women’s Day.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “As we mark Women’s Day this year, South Africa is in the grip of two pandemics – the coronavirus pandemic and the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.”
He added, “This cannot continue. We can no longer as a nation ignore the deafening cries of women and children for protection, for help and for justice.”
“To enhance the safety of women we are going to, as a matter of urgency, make the necessary amendments to our laws and policies to ensure that perpetrators of gender-based violence are brought to book,” said the President.
In his address on August 9, President Ramaphosa pledged to intensify South Africa’s quest to end gender-based violence. He pledged to outline various actions, including helping women beat poverty by facilitating women-owned businesses and facilitating more land ownership for women, and said that his administration will focus towards this cause.
Calling for member states of the African Union to adopt similar policies, President Ramaphosa said, “At the same time, we will be calling on AU member states to put policies in place to increase women’s ownership of land to 30%.”
South Africa is one of the countries that report the most cases of gender-based violence in the African continent.