Mixed reaction from activists to President Ramaphosa’s address at GBVF summit

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There has been mixed reaction from activists to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s keynote address at the second Presidential Summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in Midrand, north of Johannesburg.

President’s address:

The summit continues on Wednesday. Some activists have welcomed what they have termed a realistic reflection of government’s efforts in fighting the scourge.

The summit was first held in 2018 and aims to find ways to eradicate violence against women and children.

Executive Director of Access Chapter Two Steve Letsike says, “I think it’s a realistic reflection, it’s a kind of ownership and accountability by the President. It’s a true reflection by the way of what has been happening and also what efforts civil society have contributed. Shared responsibility, shared accountability which the President effortlessly subscribed is a kind of way that moves us forward, but where it’s at critical lens is what he emphasised on action more than talk shop, that’s what we want.”

Reaction to the 2nd Presidential Summit on Gender-based Violence and Femicide:

The summit aims to reflect on the work undertaken since the 2018 Summit, provide feedback and create a space for accountability in eradicating what President Cyril Ramaphosa has labelled a pandemic.

Activists at Gallagher Estate, the venue for the summit, were tearing into government officials for not doing enough for tackle gender-based violence and femicide and protect survivors

This happened just before President Cyril Ramaphosa was set to address stakeholders who gathered to find solutions to the scourge.

At the height of COVID-19, President Ramaphosa termed the scourge a pandemic as women across the country were forced to be at home due to lockdown restrictions and some having to live with their abusers.

Despite the first summit being held almost five years ago, the country still faces high levels of violence against women and children.