Date : 16 February 2018
SONA 2018 should address Violence Against Women - CSVR
The state should not turn a blind eye to Violence Against Women (VAW) during this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on February 8, says the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR).
CSVR is calling on government to set a bold agenda and put aside adequate resources to tackle VAW in South Africa.
CSVR also condemns the assault of an elderly woman during a hands-off Zuma march outside Luthuli House on February 5.
“VAW continues to be an everyday experience for many women in the country. It is concerning that so many women still experience these types of violence. CSVR is concerned that the annual SONA consistently fails to address government’s plan in tackling VAW,” said CSVR Gender Specialist Nonhlanhla Sibanda-Moyo.
CSVR’s recent research study “Violence against Women in South Africa: A Country in Crisis” confirmed the widespread recognition amongst survivors of violence of the deep cross-cutting consequences of VAW on the rights of women, the lives of women and on the national development agenda.
The CSVR research further indicate that people acknowledge that VAW is more than a health issue. It affects education, the economy and the political environment, which all impact on the general wellbeing of women.
VAW is estimated to cost the South African economy between R28.4 and R42.4 billion annually. CSVR says the radical economic transformation that is envisaged to change economic structures needs to take the rights of women in South Africa much more seriously.
“The state needs to explain the plans and the resources that will be invested in VAW programmes over the coming year. SONA is the appropriate platform to do this. If we are talking about the state of the nation, we also need to talk about the state of VAW in the country. State resources need to be put towards the right priorities, says Advocacy Officer, Nomathamsanqa Masiko (CSVR).
The consequences on the lives of women who experience VAW are long term, far reaching and sometimes fatal.
‘’A healthy, inclusive economy is one that creates spaces where women live without fear and can contribute to the development of the country without experiencing violence and other forms of unjust treatment from their society,” said Sibanda-Moyo.
“We cannot talk about the state of the nation without addressing one of the most pervasive challenges of our time,” she added.
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