South Africa has come a long way since the end of apartheid in 1994, but the country still faces many challenges in protecting human rights. Despite constitutional guarantees of human rights, many South Africans still face discrimination and inequality on a daily basis.
One of the most pressing problems facing South Africa is the high level of violence, especially against women and children. According to a report by the Medical Research Council of South Africa, the country has one of the highest femicide rates in the world, with an estimated 3 000 women murdered each year.
In addition, gender-based violence and sexual assaults are widespread and many cases go unreported or go unpunished.
Men and young boys are also victims of violence in South Africa, with high rates of gang-related violence and murder. According to the Institute for Security Research, there were 21 325 murders in the country in 2020, and men accounted for around 75% of the victims.
Human Rights Ranking South Africa:
South Africa’s Human Rights Ranking by SABC Digital News
Young men aged 15 to 34 are particularly at risk, with the homicide rate for this age group more than four times the national average.
The root causes of GBV and violence in South Africa are complex and multifaceted, with factors such as poverty, unemployment and inequality playing a significant role. Discrimination and social norms that perpetuate gender inequality and toxic masculinity also contribute to the problem.
In response to these challenges, several attempts have been made in South Africa to address GBV and violence. These include the creation of specialised courts to deal with GBV cases, stricter laws on the sentencing of offenders, and campaigns to change societal attitudes towards violence and gender inequality.
However, progress has been slow and many South Africans continue to face violence and discrimination on a daily basis. Addressing the root causes of GBV and violence and providing survivors with adequate support and services is essential to ensure that all South Africans can live with dignity and have their human rights respected.
Launch of the Human Rights Month programme: