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Emergence of Gender Based Violence in South Africa

Melusi Jeisal Ngwenya has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Psychology and has been a fan of battle rap for years.

Gender based violence

emergence-of-gender-based-violence-in-south-africa

Gender-based violence (GBV) has become a profound and widespread problem in South Africa, impacting on almost every aspect of life. GBV which disproportionately affects women and girls is systemic, and deeply entrenched in institutions, cultures and traditions in South Africa and even Africa at large. as an African man, I hate it when I have to write negative things about Africa and more especially about African man but at the end of the day whats in the dark needs to come to light, the truth has to be known and somethings need to be shared and discussed so that we may see a positive change in our communities.

"All women issues are to some degree men's issues and all men's issues are to some degree women's issues because when either sex wins unilaterally both sexes lose"

- Warren Farrell

One can define Gender Based Violence as any sort of violence directed at anyone based on their gender resulting in Physical, Sexual or Psychological harm. Population-based surveys in South Africa show very high levels of intimate partner violence (IPV) and non-partner sexual violence (SV) in particular, with IPV being the most common form of violence against women. Home is not a safe place for everybody during this pandemic, victims cannot get to safety especially during the lock-down it was a bit hard to get to the police station to report their cases.

“The lack of adequate investigation of gender-based violence cases has resulted in many cases being taken off the court roll due to a lack of sufficient evidence that can lead to prosecution. It is high time that cases of gender-based violence are prioritized to ensure justice for the victims,” Ntsekhe

emergence-of-gender-based-violence-in-south-africa

It looks like the numbers of reported cases for Gender Based Violence are getting high now during the lockdown but in my opinion I don’t think the numbers has changed, gender based violence has always been an issue but it was overshadowed by many different things going on around the world and there was little attention given to it. The lockdown is shining a light on the issue that has always been happening behind closed doors.

Standing up for women does not mean i am standing against men

Standing up for woman does not mean one is standing against men. Only a man secure in his self could hear the truth about gender based violence without immediately thinking its male bashing. I just imagine how I would feel if it was my Mother, Sister or Daughter on the receiving end of male violence. Instead of asking “why cant she leave” we should be asking something like “why wont he stop”.

Role of culture on gender based violence

To some extent, one can say men are not the enemy, the enemy is the stereotypical perception of what it is to be a man. Everyone need to work their partners, sons and daughters to respect and stand to fight for the equality of our fellow people. We need to instil in our children and those surrounding us what it is to be truly a strong member of the society. Its hard to break out and stand out of the expected talk of pseudo-masculinity to address sexism and inappropriateness. It takes true strength to stand up for the abused be it on the basis of gender, race, culture differences or any other insecurities.

Our children need to know that it is a demonstration strength to address bullies, to confront and challenge the abuse of any person by another. We need to teach our children that true strength lies in respect. Respecting every person as he or she is because no gender is superior than the other. As African, we need to strive to express our own freedoms and the right for others to do the same

Conclusion

I believe there should be a clear difference between gender and violence. It doesn’t matter what gender the violence is towards, violence is violence. As much as we focus on gender based violence, we should also focus on other forms of violence also in our communities. Institute of Criminology Statistics show that 45% of children murdered by a parent are murdered by their mother, making this kind of violence an equally opportunity killer. While domestic violence by men against woman features large, violence against children also need to be mentioned. Everyone is capable of violence, it might be hard for some to admit that woman are just as capable of act of violence as men but it is true.

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