The United Nations Women has challenged the religious sector to transform the picture of gender-based violence in South Africa.
Anne Shongwe from UN Women says it’s a shame that South Africa is the rape capital of the world.
She has been speaking in Pretoria, at a dialogue by the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference on positive masculinity.
Shongwe says their research shows that close to 90% of South Africans go to some religious institution.
This means the religious community has the largest audience and has a better opportunity to influence behavior in the country than government or sport.
“But if 90% of us are in the church, whatever form of faith and 30%, 20%, 50% are perpetrators of violence then the statistics say you are sitting in church. What I see is a massive opportunity and the reason that we work with faith based organisations is that you more than anyone else, especially the leaders of different faiths, have the opportunity to shape different practices, different types of relationships between men and women than anybody else, even the government.”