Gender-Based Violence is a Human Rights Violation


By Mduduzi Malinga

As we commemorate Human Rights Month in South Africa, our people are still facing challenges of gender-based violence as a major human rights concern. To date South Africans suffer from different human rights violations, such as  the right to life, freedom from torture and degrading treatment, freedom from discrimination and the right to safety and security.

According to the World Health Organisation, GBV affects more than one in three women throughout their lifetime. Almost 27% of women aged 15 – 49, report to have been subjected to some form of physical or sexual violence by their partners.

The African Development Bank’s Gender Data Index 2019 implies that violence against women is close to 40% across Africa, which is some of the highest globally.

Brand South Africa is collaborating with the Africa80, a South African based Non-Profit Organisation with a continental reach in over 30 countries, to promote GBV awareness and provide empowerment tools and prevention through a series of media campaigns.

Importantly, the collaboration will showcase what South Africa is doing to deal with GBV and extract practical insights from African experts to improve GBV support and prevention. It will further provide training to organisations or initiatives on the ground that are working towards combating this issue.

Over the years, there has been a negative narrative around GBV, with South Africa usually being at the helm of this pandemic. This platform will be an opportunity to highlight some milestones made by the country to highlight and educate on this continental crisis, where many countries on the continent do not report nor publish any  case studies.

The official launch of the media campaign kicked off on the 21 March 2023, which is Human Rights Day, with Brand South Africa also partnering with the Mosaic Training and Healing Centre in hosting a Zoom webinar on 31 March 2023. Participants will include GBV experts from Chad, Jamaica, Nigeria, and South Africa to discuss and unpack possible solutions to prevention of the violence impacting youth across the continent.

Lastly, Brand South Africa in partnership with One Love Foundation, will host a youth workshop between April/May, the dates will be announced soon. This is targeted at African youth particularly in High School and tertiary level, to equip them to proactively recognise unhealthy relationship signs and signals.

Whilst the battle for gender equity has seen some progress in recent years, gender-based violence (GBV) continues to be a major human rights issue around the world and will require global attention for many years to come.