WE, the one thousand two hundred delegates of the South African Presidential Summit against Gender-based Violence and Femicide (GBV), held on 1 and 2 November 2018 in Pretoria, representing –
- survivors of gender-based violence;
- the government of South Africa; and
- South African society at large,
and coming from all walks of life, without any distinction in terms of race, colour, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, HIV status, language, ethnic or social origin, geographical location, political or other opinion, religion, conscience, belief, culture, birth, and nationality;
ACKNOWLEDGING that the epidemic of gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa is a national crisis;
AND RECOGNISING those who have survived gender-based violence as well as those who sadly paid the final sacrifice as a result of gender-based violence and have become a statistic of femicide;
AND ACKNOWLEDGING that the Presidential Summit against Gender-based Violence and Femicide is primarily an outcome of the mobilization efforts by women living in South Africa who, on 1 August 2018, marched in all nine provinces to express the indignation against the increasing levels of gender-based violence and femicide in the country, and the ineffective justice system over the past years;
AND FURTHER RECOGNISING that on the same day, under the umbrella of
#TheTotalShutdown Movement, some women also marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria where they handed a Memorandum of Demands to the President of the Republic of South Africa requiring inter alia that a national gender summit be hosted in the country;
AND THAT THEREFORE this Presidential Summit against Gender-based Violence and Femicide is the President’s response to this demand, and is henceforth considered as a historical turning point since it has provided an opportunity for government, civil society and social movements to work together constructively with a common goal of eradicating gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa.
DEEPLY CONCERNED that-
- The extent of gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa has reached crisis proportions;
- The rate of femicide in South Africa is reported to be amongst the highest globally;
- Gender-based violence, without excluding other related crimes like hate crimes and femicide, is an affront to our shared humanity as South Africans, a violation of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and an obstruction to sustainable human development;
- The realisation of a prosperous and vibrant democracy is deeply compromised by violence directed at women and gender non-conforming persons who constitute more than half the country’s population;
- Gender-based violence impacts profoundly on the lives and well-being of survivors, families, communities and the broader society, and it potentially reproduces itself across generations;
- Women and gender non-conforming persons are not homogenous groups and are subject to intersectional vulnerabilities exacerbating the inequalities, discrimination and oppression.
AND WHILE RECOGNISING that:
- The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa sets the overarching framework for effectively protecting human rights of all persons, including women and gender non-conforming persons;
- A range of laws, policies, programmes and interventions are in place across all sectors to address gender-based violence and femicide, and the needs of all who are affected.
- Notwithstanding all interventions, prevention remains the key element in turning the tide against gender-based violence and femicide, which in South Africa has not received the necessary investment in order to make a positive and meaningful impact;
- The implementation of the existing legal framework and its accompanying actions is not fully effective since survivors continue to experience high levels of secondary victimization and inadequate responses from the criminal justice system;
- The psycho-social and related needs of survivors are not adequately addressed, with civil society organizations often bearing the brunt of providing care and response services in order to close service gaps in the justice system;
- The existing inequitable and inconsistent resourcing approach to Thuthuzela Care Centres, sexual offences courts, shelters, Khuseleka One Stop Centres and other related facilities across South Africa, render these facilities inadequate in order to meet the needs of all sectors, particularly persons with disabilities and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA +) persons;
- Harmful gender-based stereotypes in media reporting of women’s objectification, men’s entitlement and normative gender roles contribute to fuelling the levels of gender-based violence and femicide;
- There is poor accountability across all sectors providing services to survivors of gender-based violence, particularly in the allocation and use of resources in order to address the breadth and depth of the crisis.
REAFFIRM our commitment to a united, comprehensive and effective prevention and response to gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa;
AND SUPPORT the call by the President of the Republic of South Africa:
- To all South Africans to prevent and respond to gender -based violence and femicide,
- For the establishment of a multi-sectoral coordinating body in order to lead and give oversight in all country interventions against gender-based violence and femicide;
- For the allocation of necessary and adequate resources in order to eradicate gender-based violence and femicide, and also to resource the development and the implementation of a national strategy against gender-based violence and femicide;
AND COMMEND the pledge made by the President of the Republic of South Africa for committing to –
- making financial resources available necessary to address gender-based violence and femicide;
- listening to the women of South Africa; and
- responding with the urgency required.
RESOLVE to work collaboratively in the total eradication of gender-based violence and femicide;
8 Presidential Summit Declaration against Gender-based Violence and Femicide
WE DECLARE THAT-
Political, government, business and community leadership take responsibility and support the cause of eradicating gender-based violence and femicide.
Political, government, business and community leadership, and families be held accountable for actions and omissions that are contrary to the achievement of a South Africa that is free from gender-based violence and femicide, as determined in a national Code of Conduct or similar measure which will be developed by the multi-sectoral coordinating body, without excluding the existing related measures.
An Interim Gender-based Violence and Femicide Committee be established immediately with resources allocated in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999) with the aim to –
- establish a permanent national multi-sectoral coordinating body, and
- implement actions listed in this Declaration, as agreed on by the said Interim Committee.
The national multi-sectoral coordinating body –
- be championed by the President of the Republic of South Africa;
- be established within six months of the date on which this Summit Declaration is signed by the signatories below;
- be allocated adequate resources for its optimal functioning in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999);
- be governed by a statutory framework to ensure its effective functioning;
- be inclusive in its representation, with at least 51% of its members coming from civil society;
- comply with the principles of fairness and justice when exercising voting powers;
- is transparent in the appointment of any person to its membership;
- develops a National Strategy with Action Plan for gender- based violence and femicide not later than six months after its establishment, which must –
- be adequately costed and resourced in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999);
- set out indicators to be complied with by all stakeholders, including civil society stakeholders; and
- be monitored and evaluated on a regular basis by the national multi-sectoral coordinating body.
The existing laws and policies applicable to gender-based violence and femicide are to be reviewed to ensure that they are more victim-centred and responsive, and that the identified legislative gaps are addressed without delay.
The development of a regulatory framework for the functioning of religious, cultural and spiritual institutions be considered in order to curb gender-based violence and femicide perpetrated under the guise of religion and culture.
The finalisation of outstanding legislative measures and policies that relate to gender-based violence and femicide, as well as the protection of the rights of women and gender non-conforming persons, be fast-tracked, in particular the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, the Victim- Support Services Bill, and the policy relating to the decriminalisation of sex work.
All laws and policies, programmes and interventions contemplated above, be adequately planned, costed and resourced, in line within the gender-responsive planning, budgeting and monitoring evaluation framework across government.
A comprehensive costing and resourcing, in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999), for the effective functioning and management of the facilities that render support services to survivors of gender- based violence be conducted, which include the Thuthuzela Care Centres, designated public health establishments, sexual offences courts, family courts, shelters and Khuseleka Centres, so that they are able to address the needs of all survivors of gender-based violence, including persons with disabilities and the LGBTQIA+ persons.
Existing national gender machinery and similar mechanisms are maintained, resourced, strengthened and re-invigorated.
Existing information and research databases are strengthened in order to develop effective and coordinated evidence-based policies and programming that are inclusive of persons with disabilities and the LGBTQIA+ persons.
Support services to survivors of gender-based violence are improved with the view to ensuring-
- ongoing capacity-building,
- regular provision of compulsory trauma debriefing programmes,
- specialization, and
- strengthened coordination
informed by legislation, policies, protocols, norms and standards on gender- based violence and femicide.
All services offered to survivors of gender-based violence are free from secondary victimisation.
In view of the link that exists between gender-based violence, substance abuse and HIV infections, the interventions that address these social ills be evaluated, resourced and strengthened in order to meet the competing demands of this crisis.
The integration of systems for the optimal management of data throughout the justice system be finalised without further delay, which must include the collection of disaggregated data relating to survivors and offenders, from the point of entry into the justice system to the exit, with unique identifier functionality.
All communicators and institutions of communication develop, adopt and execute ethical guidelines or frameworks for reporting gender-based violence and femicide incidents in order to promote fairness, respect for dignity and privacy and also introduce compulsory social context training for the media and communication sectors.
The existing education and training system be evaluated with a view to strengthening prevention initiatives in respect of, and responses to, gender- based violence and femicide at all levels of the said system.
New social behaviour change programmes are introduced in communities or that such existing programmes are strengthened in order-
- to address patriarchal values and norms and structural drivers of gender-based violence and femicide,
- to target all people living in South Africa, including all persons strategically placed to influence attitudes, behaviours and practices, and
- to be supported by an effective and resourced communication strategy in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999).
Economic development for women that takes into account gender non- conforming and other marginalized groups is promoted.
AND HAVING REGARD to the adoption of the Summit Declaration by the delegates on 2 November 2018;
AND HAVING AGREED THAT this Declaration is the embodiment of priority actions setting a roadmap to a South Africa free from gender-based violence and femicide, as envisioned by the National Development Plan, 2030;
AND HAVING ACKNOWLEDGED THAT this Declaration is an affirmation of firm intent;
AND HAVING FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGED THAT the interpretation of this Declaration shall be in accordance with the ordinary grammatical meaning and within the context of the Constitution and the laws of South Africa;
NOW IT IS THEREFORE PROCLAIMED THAT this PRESIDENTIAL SUMMIT DECLARATION AGAINST GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND FEMICIDE is hereby
assented to and signed by the following signatories:
On behalf of the government of South Africa:
His Excellency President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa
President of the Republic of South Africa Date:
Presidential Summit Declaration against Gender-based Violence and Femicide 13
On behalf of civil society:
|1.||#TheTotalShutDown||Sibongile Antonette Mthembu||Steering Committee member|
|2.||Call to Action||Nonhlanhla Sibanda-Moyo||Representative|
|3.||Genderlinks||Lindi Zelda Khoza||Representative|
|4.||KwaZulu-Natal Network on Violence against Women||Nizaam Edwards||Coordinator|
|5.||National Shelter Movement of South Africa||Dr. Zubeda Dangor||Head of the Executive|
|6.||Shukumisa Campaign||Shaheda Omar||Steering Committee Member|
|7.||Stop Gender-based Violence Campaign||Rakgadi Mohlahlane||Coordinator|
|8.||Women Inkwelo Network||Lesley-Ann Foster||Executive Director|
|9.||Women on Farms Project||Rebecca Mort||programme Coordinator|