President Ramaphosa to host Presidential Summit on GBVF 

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President Cyril Ramaphosa will convene the second Presidential Summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) next month.

The summit, to be held at Gallagher Estate, Midrand, from 1 – 2 November 2022, will reflect on the work undertaken since the first Presidential Summit on GBVF in November 2018. It will also report on key successes and challenges, and outline clear strategies to overcome them.

The first Presidential Summit on GBVF in 2018 was in response to the 24 demands submitted by the #TheTotalShutdown Intersectional Womxn’s Movement to President Cyril Ramaphosa, following 27 nationwide marches on 1 August 2018.

The movement protested against the country’s pervasive scourge of gender-based violence and femicide and offered the 24 demands (https://gbvf.org.za/tag-24-demands-01-august-2018/) as a solution. Chief amongst the demands was the call to the President to convene the first ever summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide on the African continent.

This resulted in a Summit Declaration, which officially declared GBVF as a national crisis in March 2019, and was the first step in developing the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NSP on GBVF).

The NSP on GBVF (https://www.justice.gov.za/vg/gbv/NSP-GBVF-FINAL-DOC-04-05.pdf) provides a strategic roadmap and sets out specific plans for a multisectoral approach to end GBVF and build a society where womxn, children, and the LGBTQIA+ community are safe from violence directed at them because of patriarchal stereotyping.

The NSP is outlined in six pillars, which include accountability, coordination and leadership; prevention and rebuilding social cohesion; justice, safety and protection; response, care, support and healing; economic power; and research and information management.

The Presidency said it has been four years since the Presidential Summit and the adoption of the Presidential Summit Declaration, and two years since the NSP on GBVF was signed into effect by the President on 31 April 2020.

Levels of GBV undermine democracy and women’s rights

While progress has been made in the implementation of the 2019 Presidential Summit Declaration and its national GBVF plan, government warned that the levels of gender-based violence and the brutal ways in which violence is meted out against women across age groups and geographies, fundamentally undermines tdemocracy and women’s human rights.

Co-chairperson of the Presidential Summit Planning Committee, Dr Olive Shisana, said this year’s summit will provide an opportunity for feedback and accountability for issues raised in the last summit. Shisana said it will provide an assessment of the impact of programmes and how to amplify programmes that are making a difference.

“For example, measuring impact against expenditure allows us to prioritise and duplicate programmes that are yielding tangible results. The return on investment also talks to amplification in how we scale up successful projects to roll these out across the country.

“As a country, we must double our efforts to prevent and respond to GBVF and hold each other accountable to implement the NSP.  As a planning committee for the summit, we are hard at work to prepare for all to account for commitments made, and accelerate and amplify implementation,” said Shisana.

Sibongile Ndashe, co-chairperson of the PSPC, said civil society is not immune to the prevailing “summit fatigue”.

“However, we welcome the invitation to co-create a space where accountability is a possibility. We are approaching the summit with information on most of the failures that have frustrated the implementation of the NSP on GBVF. We know what has not been done,” Ndashe said.

Provincial summits

The Presidential Summit will be held under the theme, ‘Accountability. Acceleration and Amplification, NOW!’

In the build-up to the summit, provinces will host provincial summits to report on the implementation of the NSP on GBVF, as well as the drivers, challenges and opportunities for implementation.

The provincial summits will generate insights that will be captured into reports, which will be consolidated towards the Presidential Summit. Additionally, National Pillar Dialogues will take place in October, with the aim of assessing the implementation of the NSP on GBVF.

The committee said efforts are also underway to finance the summit, and appealed to partners to come on board to join the journey towards eradicating GBVF in South Africa. – SAnews


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