It has emerged that despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for Parliament to speedily process Bills that are related to gender-based violence (GBV), no pieces of legislation are before the institution.

Parliament’s legal services has told the Programming Committee that many such bills are still with the relevant departments.

Charmaine van der Merwe from the legal services, clarified the matter after Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone, argued that Parliament could not be blamed for dragging its feet while Bills were yet to be tabled.

“I agree with Ms Mazzone that the only Bill that I could find is the one that deals with these private matters is the prescription. And that Bill is more about how long you are allowed to lay a charge after the incident has happened, and I don’t think this is what the President was referring to. According to our record, those Bills are still with the department and still have to go through the Cabinet process,” says Van der Merwe.

The video below talks about the Domestic Violence Bill currently out for public comment:

During an address on Wednesday evening, Ramaphosa told the nation that GBV is another pandemic facing the country, equally with COVID-19.

He said the courts will receive a major boost, which will see all officials going for “sensitivity training” in order to better handle cases of abuse.

In the video below founder of Khuluma Ndoda, Patrick Shai and Director at People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA)  Mary Makgaba speaks about the rise of gender-based violence.

 

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation says there has been an increase in cases of gender-based violence across the world as the fight against the coronavirus pandemic continues.

According to the UN Health Agency, over 100 women are killed globally every day.

Women have been forced to stay at home as their movement has been restricted, leaving them in the same space as their abusers.

President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Gabriela Cuevas Barron says, “Violence against women has already reached epic proportions in all societies with 137 women killed every day globally by a member of their own family. The level of domestic violence and sexual exploitation further increases as a result of confined living conditions and economic stress.”

In the video below African Historian, Dr Mathole Motshekga, talks about cultural norms and explains if there are issues that may be stumbling blocks in the fight against GBV.