Government will work to serve and protect women, says Mabuza

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Deputy President David Mabuza. (GCIS)
Deputy President David Mabuza. (GCIS)
  • Deputy President David Mabuza has called on South Africans to fight gender-based violence with the same vigour it fought apartheid.
  • Mabuza said the government would work to serve and protect women.
  • He has called on men to do introspection and advance a moral regeneration.

Society needs to act against the scourge of gender-based violence with the same vigour it fought apartheid to realise the freedoms of democracy.

This according to Deputy President David Mabuza who addressed the matter of gender-based violence during a virtual sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday.

He said South African men needed to "find themselves" to advance a moral regeneration.

"Then, we can serve as positive role models to future generations. We can mentor the boy child and inspire confidence in them to love women and treat their bodies with respect.

"It is the duty of the state to arrest, prosecute and remove perpetrators from society. This is an undertaking we will not take lightly. We will work to serve and protect women. This we will do with courage, conviction and determination. Justice will be done and must be seen to be done," Mabuza added.

READ | Laws not enough to curb gender-based violence, buy-in needed from men - Justice Minister

ANC MP Fikile Masiko wanted details on impact the She Conquers Campaign had on empowering and educating young girls and women about their health and safety during the lockdown.

Amid the recent escalation of reported cases of gender-based violence, Masiko also wanted to know how accessible the campaign was, particularly to those in remote areas.

Mabuza said the campaign was born out of the vulnerabilities of adolescent girls and young women in experiencing violence and contracting HIV/Aids.

"In the main, the She Conquers Campaign was established to decrease new HIV infections in girls and young women.

"The campaign has, since its launch in 2016, had more than 90 000 adolescent girls and young women who have received post-violence care, and nearly 19 000 young boys and girls have participated in violence prevention programmes in the 22 priority sub-districts."

He added it was aimed at decreasing sexual and gender-based violence among adolescent girls and young women and increasing economic empowerment opportunities for young people, especially women.

"If anything else, the campaign, raises sharply the need to concentrate on the family as an important unit for the regeneration of the new society we envisioned in our country's Constitution.

"The need for the She Conquers Campaign is more important during this time and gives us an opportunity to go back to the drawing board, and to adopt a different approach in uprooting this social cancer from our society."

Mabuza said the national Youth HIV Prevention Technical working group had developed a standardised HIV prevention risk-assessment tool which included gender-based violence screening questions, help-lines and referral tools.

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