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CGE meets with DBE Spokesperson & DG following sexist tweets

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Media Release For immediate Release: 10 September 2019 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE meets with DBE Spokesperson & DG following sexist tweets On the 04th September, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) met with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) Spokesperson Mr. Elijah Mhlanga and the Director General (DG) Dr. Mantanzima Mlweli following sexist tweets that the Spokesperson tweeted as part of #readtolead campaign. The CGE was inundated with lots of complaints as a result of those sexist tweets associated with #readtolead. Following those complaints, the CGE resolved to use section 12(4) b of the CGE Act as amended, to subpoena Mr. Mhlanga and Dr. Mlweli to provide oral submission/before the CGE in response to the sexist tweets and to respond to questions related to the matter. Dr. Mlweli was subpoenaed to the hearing as the Accounting Officer to explain the role of DBE on the matter. At the CGE, we believe that the right to education should be fulfilled free from discrimination, objectification and harassment. We further believe that the objectification of women as a marketing strategy contributes to a discriminatory culture where women are hypersexualized and has the power to negatively shape the attitudes of children towards women’s roles in society. Where objectification exists, violence against women is more likely. This is not the society we want to build, and we cannot support this. It was resolved during the hearing that the Department of Basic Education will furnish the Commission for Gender Equality with the following information on or before the 6th of September 2019: The report issued by Mr. Mhlanga following the alleged incident The report prepared by the Director General in relation to the above-mentioned hearing The Sexual harassment policy of the Department of Basic Education The Department’s External Communication Policy and/or guidelines Details on the #Readtolead campaign The Department of Basic Education has since submitted the requested documents with the only pending document being: The final outcome of the investigation report as well as the cost implications of the said investigation which is due to the Commission on or before 15 October 2019 The Commission is making a binding recommendation for Mr Elijah Mhlanga to go through a gender-sensitization training. The CGE will also monitor the overall gender transformation including culture within Department of Basic Education. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 10 September 2019 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 181 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. Twitter Handle: @CGE_ZA. Facebook Page: Gender Commission of South Africa. Toll Free Number: 0800 007 709. GBV Toll Free Number: 0800 428 428, Stop Gender Violence: 0800 150 150 Witness, Survivors and victims of GBV can send Please Call Me at *120*7867#

CGE calls for President Ramaphosa to take concrete action in fighting GBV

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Media Release For immediate Release: 05 September 2019 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE calls for President Ramaphosa to take concrete action in fighting GBV The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has serious concern around the state of the violence against women and vulnerable groups, and general lack of decisive action by the state on matters pertaining to Gender Based Violence (GBV). Given the current state of affairs, and the long history of GBV in South Africa, the CGE within its legislative mandate expects the government under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa to a make decisive call for action in light of the perpetual crisis of GBV in South Africa. The Commission calls on government to take decisive action in addressing the structural and systemic failures of the criminal justice system, particularly policing and prevention. Beyond statements, press releases and condemnation we need the following solid commitments from the President if he is serious about tackling the crisis, we have around GBV: The CGE calls a swift conclusion of unresolved cases of GBV in various courts, especially those that have been in the system for more than 12 months with no end. Based on our court monitoring processes we have observed the long delays of GBV cases. We expect to hear the President commit to opening courts on a 24-hour basis in order to provide speedier redress due to the urgency and pain of cases that are not finalized. The CGE is calling for the rollout of specialized courts that deal specifically with matters relating to GBV. It has been said that there are almost 100 specialised sexual offences courts, this should be increased in light of the current crisis. It is urgent that the Office of the Chief Justice must sign the regulations in relation to these courts, as the delay is preventing existing courts from functioning at all. The CGE is calling for the President to capacitate, resource and enable the National Prosecution Authority to optimize its response to GBV related cases. In several provinces, senior public prosecutors are ill equipped and inadequately supported to deal with the heavy load of cases before them. The CGE believes that government alone cannot quell the scourge of GBV as it requires partnerships with civil society, faith based organisations and community groups that seek to change mindsets on a short- and long-term basis. It is concerning that the Ministry of Women, Youth, and People Living with Disabilities (DWYPD) has yet to finalize the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBV. Despite the urgency of the GBV Summit Resolutions, this shows that the state is not serious about curbing these phenomena. We urgently need the President to hold the DWYPD to task and finalize the NSP by the end of this month with a costed budget. The necessary fiscal allocation required the CGE calls on the president to make a firm commitment in the MTBSP statement. The CGE has noted that in both the SONA and the Inauguration the President of South Africa, His Excellency, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa made statements relaying the importance of solving the GBV crisis. However, both occurrences are without budget allocations, by implication, showing the lack of prioritization. In addition, CGE expects that government should initiate a monitoring framework to measure the effectiveness of curbing GBV by the state in order to measure that impact. We expect the President to support shelters that are temporary havens for those affected by GBV. Our recent Shelters report finds that they are inadequately resourced, with very poor infrastructure, and places where secondary victimisation often occurs due to government failure to monitor the conditions in their facilities. CGE calls on the President and the Ministry of Social development to audit the shelter facilities and cost the resource requirements, and within the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement to make firm commitments on their rehabilitation and resourcing. The CGE is also calling for the better funding of Thuthuzela Care Centres which play a vital role in the providing a one-stop service for survivors that reduces the secondary trauma experienced by survivors. The CGE will look into the statement made by the President with keen interest in order to ensure that other means of addressing of GBV are taken into account. The CGE reminds the populace that South Africa is a country that hinges on principles of human rights as well as the rule of law. We urge communities who wish to advance their rights of protesting to adhere to the rule of law in the process of seeking justice. South Africa needs a healing campaign that will focus on the victims who need support and counselling. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 05 September 2019 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 181 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. Twitter Handle: @CGE_ZA. Facebook Page: Gender Commission of South Africa. Toll Free Number: 0800 007 709. GBV Toll Free Number: 0800 428 428, Stop Gender Violence: 0800 150 150 Witness, Survivors and victims of GBV can send Please Call Me at *120*7867#

Uyinene’s murder calls for a re-think in addressing gender-based violence (GBV)

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Media Release For immediate Release: 04 September 2019 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters Uyinene’s murder calls for a re-think in addressing gender -based violence (GBV) On the 02nd of September, South Africans woke up to the dreadful news that the missing University of Cape Town (UCT) student Uyinene Mrwetyana’s lifeless body was found in Lingelethu West township. Her death brought back the spotlight on issues of gender-based violence and femicide that have gained prominence in South Africa. Based on media reports and what transpired in the court where the alleged killer confessed, Uyinene was assaulted, raped and bludgeoned to death. Uyinene only wanted to access a parcel that was sent to her via the Post Office, unbeknown to her that the person who was supposed to render the service was to be her alleged killer. The CGE sends its heartfelt condolences to Mrwetyana’s family and other victims and survivors of gender-based violence. During the women’s month, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) used various mediums or platforms to highlight the worrying and increasing numbers of gender-based violence and femicide cases and other related atrocities. Through the CGE’s outreach and legal clinics, the Commission was able to heighten awareness about various forms of abuse in a way of educating and also assisting those in need of free legal advice on issues such gender -based violence, maintenance, estates, domestic violence, rape and other gender related matters. Through the Commission’s court monitoring processes, we have observed with concern, long delays in prosecuting gender-based violence cases. The Commission has also observed that there are cases that have seen conclusion in an efficient manner without delays. The Commission hopes that the speed within which other recent cases have been resolved will also apply in her case. The same should also happen to cases that do not make it to the media. The CGE calls for a re-think in addressing gender-based violence crimes. Perpetrators of these heinous crimes act with impunity. It is for this reason that the CGE calls for a strong concerted effort in addressing the scourge that according to World Health Organisation (WHO) it is almost five times than the global average. The CGE also supports the online petition calling for GBV to be regarded as a priority crime in South Africa. The CGE once again calls on South Africans to join hands as part of the 365 Days of No Violence against Women to continue raising awareness and advocating against the scourge of gender-based violence. The CGE will be embarking on a campaign throughout the country engaging both boys and men about their role in ending gender-based violence which seems to be going on unabated. We hope through this campaign boys will grow up being reasonable citizens who respect human rights and understand that women’s rights are also human rights. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 04 September 2019 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 181 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. Twitter Handle: @CGE_ZA. Facebook Page: Gender Commission of South Africa. Toll Free Number: 0800 007 709. GBV Toll Free Number: 0800 428 428, Stop Gender Violence: 0800 150 150 Witness, Survivors and victims of GBV can send Please Call Me at *120*7867#

Statement on Outreach Outcomes of conditions of Women in the poverty stricken Makause Informal Settlement (Located in Primrose, Germiston)

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Media Statement Immediate Release: 30 August 2019 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters Women as the face of poverty: Makause Informal Settlement Statement on Outreach Outcomes of conditions of Women in the poverty stricken Makause Informal Settlement (Located in Primrose, Germiston) Good Afternoon Everyone, I would like to acknowledge the presence of the following people and institutions:

  • Pastor Elias Leholo
  • Cllr Frans Ngomane
  • Mr Thato Mashiane from (COGTA)
  • Ms Vanessa Smith (Victim Empowerment Programme, SAPS in Primrose)
  • Mr Modise Koetle from City of Ekurhuleni
  • Mr Thapelo Mashete from Kitso Lesedi Youth Development
  • Primary Health Ward Based Outreach Programme
  • Community Development Workers
  • Members of the LGBTIQ+ Community
  • And members of the media
All protocol observed I greet you all on this occasion as we close our commemoration of Women’s Month. The past couple of weeks have given us a time and space to reflect on the struggles of Women who have come before us. We have done this with the intention of charting a prosperous future for women of this country. We have celebrated Women of 1956 in several ways over the past few weeks and it is fitting that we close the commemorations with a view to tap into the current scenarios. Our reflections on the past should plant a seed of inquiry into the current status of women from all walks of life. In other words, our reflection should inspire us to look into the current situation in order to establish the extent to which Women have been emancipated in the current generation. This form of inquiry rests with section 11 of the CGE Act of 1996 which makes it possible for us to investigate and monitor the state’s compliance on the fulfilment of gender equality. It is therefore the prerogative of the Commission for Gender Equality to assess the conditions of Women in its inquiry on status of Women. Such an inquiry should be extended to those Women who are often forgotten, those who find themselves in the impoverished regions of our country. This is of critical importance because, as we continue to venture into the status of Women in South Africa, we must ensure that we leave no one behind, certainly not the Women of Makause Informal Settlement. In this informal settlement, Women bear the face of poverty, abuse, and discrimination in several ways. Prior to our visit to Makause Informal Settlement, we were startled to learn the following:
  • There is a prevalence of domestic violence cases which are often reported over weekends – and we have learnt that the perpetrators are often the same people.
  • Many children in this community are prone to physical and sexual violence due to the neglect of children. As such we have even learnt of a case where a mother of two was recently arrested by police for handcuffing her child while she went out for the evening.
  • There are several unresolved cases of rape in the community.
  • We have noted with concern several incidents of fraudulent marriages as a result of a syndicate that lures Women into false marriages.
  • There are low levels of literacy amongst Women who live in the community
  • Women who work for the Expanded Public Works Programme are often victims of sexual harassment and exploitation
Apart from the issues I have now highlighted; most shacks in the informal settlement of Makause are headed by females and by implication, it means that Women in this community are likely to be bread winners in their own right. This however is unlikely to be case due to a level of poverty that surrounds this community. In other words, Women in this community are likely to bear the brunt of poverty a lot more than men due to the social circumstances that surround this community. Poverty in the context of this community is denoted by inadequate access to water, electricity and poor sanitary conditions. All of the these have a negative impact on the conditions of Women and state of health and security. For example, Women’s safety is often compromised by the fact that 10 families share 1 toilet – this presents a risk of rape, sexual assault, and health related problems. We are told that these toilets are only cleaned three times a month, thereby presenting further environmental and health risks. Whilst making reference to issues of health, we have also noted that very few Women in this community have access to reproductive health services. We acknowledge the continued presence of health care workers, police, community development institutions as well as community development workers who have a mammoth task of making sure that services of communities are met. The efforts of stakeholders such as department of health, the police, NGOs need to be commended. Having said that, we are also aware that medical emergency workers and police often find it difficult to access community members in times of crises due to the narrow passages in between the dwellings. For example, ambulances often struggle to access dwellings where people need emergency treatment. I would like to leave it to your imagination as to what happens when Women give birth in the dead of night, or when Women call police in cases of domestic violence. The same applies to police who find it difficult to gain access to dwellings where domestic violence has occurred. It is in the interest of the Commission is to find a resolve to the following problems: Matters related to violence The Commission and its stakeholders seek a resolution to all matters that relate to violence that is perpetrated against women and children. The Commission and its stakeholders will be working together in a task team format in order to bring about the speedy resolution of cases of rape. It is important that in doing so we give the law enforcement officers and authority all the support they need to meeting this objective. Mechanisms are also needed to ensure that the high rate of domestic violence are tackled with the assistance of all parties are responsible for various interventions. Gender abuse The cases or complaints that have been brought to us as the Commission today, during the legal clinic we held, will be processed in order seek justice. The mandate of the Commission is to handle complaints and any matter that relates to gender abuse and discrimination. Having noted the sort of problems that have become pervasive in Makause, the Commission will ensure that there is no stone unturned. The complaints received today will be resolved through processes that are within out legal complaints manual. Health and safety matters It is important to note that the Commission has committed itself to promote and advance access to Sexual Reproductive Rights services. This is what is contained in our Annual Performance Plan. It is therefore the prerogative and interest of the Commission to ensure that adequate interventions are put in place in order to ensure that Women residents of Makause are given access to these services. Having stated these interventions, we need to note that all of the factors that pose a problem and plight of Women of Makause, are directly linked to human rights. For instance, it is enshrined in our Constitution that access to basic services to all communities, remains a fundamental human right. It is also the right of citizens to be protected from crime, health hazards, and be given adequate safety within their surrounds. Failure to act and intervene in such social problems may imply a further violation of the rights of Women in this informal settlement. This is the reason why we take all of these problems seriously, including stakeholders who are present here. From here henceforth, the Commission will be lending a hand to community based organisations and multi stakeholder government institutions in order to deal with these problems. I am aware that our Gauteng provincial office have already reached out to local government organisations as well as NGOs who function in the surrounds of Makause informal settlement - for the purpose of building a task team that will look into the issues of concern. Having said that, the Commission has the mandate and authority to monitor progress made by all government institutions as well as civil society in respect of matters of gender equality. We will indeed monitor progress in regard to the solutions that will be initiated by the task team. As Women’s Month draws to a close, it is of utmost importance that we reiterate that poverty should no longer be pervasive to the extent that Women of Makause become its victims. As we often advance issues of Women empowerment during our commemoration of the Month of Women (or August month), we need to do so by making sure that we leave no one behind. In spite of the poverty experienced by this communities, basic services related to health, protection, and safety remain an entitlement for all citizens including Women of this informal settlement. Poverty should never determine the extent to which Women of this community are able to access the most basic human needs. We need to act. We need to act decisively. We need to do all that is possible to protect the rights of those who bear the brunt of poverty and inequality. I thank you! Ms. Tamara Mathebula Chairperson: Commission for Gender Equality   Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 30 August 2019 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. Twitter Handle: @CGE_ZA. Facebook Page: Gender Commission of South Africa. Toll Free Number: 0800 007 709. GBV Toll Free Number: 0800 428 428 Witness, Survivors and victims of GBV can send Please Call Me at *120*7867#

Invitation to a Media Briefing

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Invitation to a Media Briefing on: The outcome of the outreach and legal clinic by Commission for Gender Equality in Makause Informal Settlement, Primrose, Germiston, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality Date     :  30 August 2019                Time     :  12h00 – 13h00 Venue  : Fire of God Ministry, Next to Makause RSVP: Javu Baloyi Javu@cge.org.za or 083 579 3306 On 30th of August 2019, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) will be hosting a media briefing to inform media about interventions related to the plight of women in Makause informal settlement. It is well known that the informal settlement has recently been in the media with reference to social problems that has plagued the community. The CGE has noted with concern these social ills and the lack of access to basic services such as water, electricity, sexual and reproductive health services.  The CGE has also noted that part of these social problems includes intolerable rates of violent crimes, including gender-based violence and abuse. These problems are further exacerbated by the fact that police, emergency and health care service professionals find it difficult to access the informal settlement due to structural reasons. The CGE will therefore visit the area in order to conduct a legal clinic and to also raise awareness about issues pertaining to the rights of women in the informal settlement. Ends,

CGE welcomes Minister Mthembu’s statement on National Development Plan being gender blind

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Media Release  For immediate Release:  14 August 2019 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters   CGE welcomes Minister Mthembu’s statement on National Development Plan being gender blind  The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has noted with keen interest Minister in the Presidency, Honourable Jackson Mthembu’s utterances that the National Development Plan (NDP) is gender blind. The Commission analysed the NDP in 2013 and found that the document failed to recognise gender imbalances and women’s vulnerabilities in relation to gender based violence, land, poverty, women in rural areas, access of water and electricity, access to justice and appropriate health care, etc.  The CGE study also found that gender disaggregated data was not used and questions about women’s realities were not asked and this was due to the lack of consultation with the Commission and this is also evident in the absence of a human rights discourse in the analysis and planning presented in the NDP. The Commission used its legislated mandated as enjoined by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to review state policies and practices from gender perspective, to ensure gender responsive policy making. It is against this backdrop that the Commission identified glaring gaps that fell short of addressing gender elements within the NDP. In a nutshell, the Commission based on its study can conclude the Mr. Mthembu was not off the mark and that the NDP is not genderised. The CGE will be writing a formal letter to Minister Mthembu seeking an audience with him in his capacity as the Chairperson of the National Planning Commission (NPC). The meeting will be for two reasons. First reason is to share with Minister  Mthembu the Commission’s study on its analysis of NDP. The second reason is that during the NDP Review process in October 2019, the CGE would be available to offer expertise in ensuring that the document is genderised. The CGE believes unless the NDP is a gender sensitized document, it will not achieve its intended objectives. Minister Mthembu also spoke of indicators to assist in ensuring that the NDP is a gender sensitive document when the review takes place. The CGE believes it can offer invaluable inputs emanating from its gender analysis of the NDP Vision 2030 report. The CGE also call for the seven priority areas as outlined by His Excellency President Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) to be gender sensitive. The CGE is of the view that the continual exclusion of women who make 52% of the South African population from an analysis aimed at eradicating poverty, creating jobs, sustainable livelihoods and social cohesion, the status quo of marginalized women will continue. It is for this reason that the CGE welcomes Minister Mthembu’s statement on the NDP being gender blind and wanting to offer its expertise to remedy the situation as an institution with the vast knowledge in the area and having done some analysis of the NDP  ENDS,   Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date:  14 August 2019 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 181 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. Twitter Handle: @CGE_ZA. Facebook Page: Gender Commission of South Africa. Toll Free Number: 0800 007 709. GBV Toll Free Number: 0800 428 428, Stop Gender Violence : 0800 150 150  Witness, Survivors  and victims of GBV can send Please Call Me at *120*7867#

CGE Women’s Month Calendar of Events 2019

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CGE  Women's Month Calendar of Events  2019 Please see the link below for the Commission for Gender Equality Women’s Month Calendar of Events 2019. This will assist you in know which activities the Commission will be embarking on. The contact details of the liaison persons are in the respective Calendar of Events. CGE Women's Month Calendar of Events 2019 ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date:  01 August 2019 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 181 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. Twitter Handle: @CGE_ZA. Facebook Page: Gender Commission of South Africa. Toll Free Number: 0800 007 709. GBV Toll Free Number: 0800 428 428, Stop Gender Violence: 0800 150 150 Witness, Survivors and victims of GBV can send Please Call Me at *120*7867#

Briefing of Systemic Investigation Report of Shelters that accommodate victims of violence

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Media Statement Embargoed until: 24 June 2019 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters Briefing of Systemic Investigation Report of Shelters that accommodate victims of violence Good morning everyone. I welcome you all to this briefing. The purpose of this briefing is to convey the outcomes of a systemic investigation that the Commission undertook to assess the state of shelters for victims of violence, but in particular, victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and members of the Lesbian, Gays Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex (LGBTI) Communities. This form of investigation did not happen in a vacuum but was necessitated by the mandate of the Commission and international instruments. One of these instruments is the Convention of Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, or commonly known as CEDAW. Section 24 (b) of CEDAW compels the Commission to ensure that legislation intended to curb family violence and abuse, gender-based violence (GBV), rape and sexual assault gives adequate protection to women. This particular state obligation has now become important in light of the current state of GBV in South Africa. In other words, it has become essential to assess the conditions of shelters amidst the high levels of GBV. In line with the CGE Act (Section 11) which states that such an assessment may happen through an investigation, the outcomes thereof ought to be in the public interest. Apart from CEDAW and the accompanying policy and legislation on the protection of gender equality, it is also important to understand the policy intent of the State in providing adequate measures to meet our obligations in relation to Section 24 of CEDAW. It is in this instance that I draw your attention to a salient policy directive which came from the State of the Nation Address (of 2018), regarding the protection of victims of GBV. In the SONA of 2018, the President of the Republic, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa stated that, and I quote “Political and community leadership must support and champion the cause of eradicating gender-based violence and femicide” and he went on to further state that there should be “Adequate resourcing of Thuthuzela Care Centres, sexual offences courts and shelters that respond to the needs of all people including people with disabilities and LGBTQIA+”. The interest of the Commission in relation to the protection of victims of GBV through the provision of adequate shelters spans as far back as 2013 when the Commission submitted a proposal for law reform on the same subject matter in order to improve the conditions and access to shelters. The key position of the Commission still stands in that we still believe that the increased access and improvement of the conditions of Thuthuzela Care Centers will further reduce the impact of GBV on survivors, from an economic and social perspective. It is in this instance that we also believe that shelters serve as a mechanism for survivors to escape the cycle of abuse and avoid further harm. As we stated our position in 2013, we also raised an issue pertaining to the funding of these shelters. This we raised with the view that costs of managing shelters should be factored into various departments of government and this should be done as a part of institutionalized gender-responsive budgeting initiatives. Having given this background; it is also important for me to state that the Commission received numerous complaints from victims of GBV who were provided protection by shelters. Complainants in this regard complained about lack of counselling at the shelters, secondary victimization and abuse as well as the general conditions of the facilities. This further compelled the Commission to look into the state of shelters with reference to issues of human interest – in other words, with the view that some residents of these shelters remain unsatisfied with the state of affairs. With all of the above factors I have mentioned thus far, the Commission conducted an investigation in all nine provinces from 2018 to 2019 financial year. The following information was analysed for the purposes of this investigation: - The Shelter information, status and staffing; - Shelter capacity and accommodation criteria; - Period of stay and survivor readiness to exit the shelter; - Shelter funding and resources; - Shelter service package offer / shelter service basket; - Record keeping and ethics confidentiality; - Shelter management, staffing and supervision; - Nature of relationship with SAPS; - Safety and Security measures; - Substance abuse and rehabilitation; - And general Challenges experienced. Apart from what I have stated, we also requested the Department of Social Development (DSD) to provide us with the following information for as part of the investigation: - Budget allocation to shelters; - Measures and programmes to support shelters; - Efforts to rectify the lacuna in the Domestic Violence Act; - Outline and evidence of DSD’s developmental quality assurance; - Information on the complaints mechanism for residents of shelters; - Mechanisms to prevent shelters unfairly discriminating against the LGBTIQA+ community. The findings of this investigation unveiled the following: - Lack of adequate funding for shelters; - Late payment of tranches and a lack of cooperation; - In some shelters building and facility infrastructure and security poses a problem; - Lack of transitional Housing / second stage housing; - Lack of standardised salaries amongst the same occupation categories including bettering of prerequisites for certain roles within shelters; - Lack of compliance to policies and standardised practices, policies, skills development and complaints mechanisms, with specific reference to: a. Therapeutic methods; b. Skills development; c. Early child development programmes; d. Minimum and maximum periods of stay; e. Mechanisms used when a survivor requests a longer stay, including assessment and process to evaluate the request; f. Complaint mechanisms at a shelter level. - Failure and/or neglect by DSD to ensure proper policies and implementation thereof, including inconsistent funding methods. - Survivors struggle to adapt to normal living conditions. - Lack of mainstreaming of international instruments with gender equality provisions into existing and proposed legislation relating to service rendered by shelters. - Inadequate DSD budgeting methods in the allocation of resources to shelters. - No standardised approach to accommodate and assist survivors of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and other diverse sexual orientations and gender identities (LGBTIQA+) community. Based on the outcomes of our investigation it is evident that there are deep-rooted systemic challenges which need adequate attention of state institutions who bear the responsibility to make provisions for the protection of survivors of GBV. to be addressed at the highest level of institutions that are expected to offer services to survivors of violence. In light of the above outcomes of our systemic investigation it is highly plausible that we may be in breach of the provisions of Sections 24 of CEDAW, but more importantly, the findings have a bearing on the following domestic legislation and policy: Under the Constitution of the Republic of South Arica 108 of 1996 • Right to Equality (Sec 9) • Right to Dignity (sec 10) • Right to freedom and security of the person (sec 12) • Right to Privacy (sec 13) • Right to adequate housing (sec 26) • Limitation of rights (sec 36) Other forms of legislation that may be breached are as follows: • Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination 4 of 2000 (PEPUDA) • Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 • Children’s Act 38 of 2005 • Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act 7 of 2013 Accordingly, the CGE recommends as follows: - The CGE to call a Public Investigative Hearing within the 2019/2020 period wherein: - All Head of Departments of the nine provincial DSD’s - The Director-General (DG) of the National DSD - The DG of the National Department of Human Settlements are called to fully account before the CGE and respond to questions regarding how shelters are allocated resources and any other aspects regarding the functioning and co-ordination of shelters including the need for transitional housing. It is anticipated that the public investigative hearings will lead to further supplementary recommendation report which will look into matters concerning policy and practice in the sheltering of survivors of violence. 2. The late payment of tranches severely undermines the functioning of shelters. In turn, the CGE recommends that urgent action on the part of DSD is taken to instil safeguards within its contract management system wherein it provides clear pre-warning of required payments and in turn accountability of those officials responsible for effecting the payments whom do so late. The DSD is afforded the ambit to devise its own safeguard. Albeit, it must be effective and able to be rolled out throughout the nine provinces. The safeguard including time frames for roll out to the nine provinces must be provided to the CGE within three months of release of this report. 3. The DSD to finalise its policy regarding GBV Prevention Programme for LGBTIQA+ Persons within six months from the date of release of this report, including clear directives to shelters to comply and not unfairly disseminate against LGBTIQA+ persons, including a clearly communicated complaints process for survivors to report any discriminatory action on the part of a shelter. 4. DSD after consulting key stakeholders to provide the CGE with: 1. A standardised policy detailing the manner and criteria to fulfil when survivors wish to apply for extension at a shelter. This should also include a costing analysis wherein the costs of extensions are forecast and budgeted for and a clear complaints mechanism for survivors to appeal any negative decision. 2. A standardised policy detailing the monitoring of survivors after existing the shelter including clear indicators to determine if the survivor is adjusting favourably. The two policies as per recommendations 4.1 and 4.2 must be provided to the CGE within six months after release of the investigative report. 5. DSD in consultation with key stakeholders: 1. To standardise salaries and/or stipends of persons employed by shelters, including detailing criteria. Such standardisation must be taken into account during the budget allocation provided to shelters. 2. Detail and set the educational requirements and core skills needed for the requisite job roles in shelters. I thank you for your attention. Ms. Tamara Mathebula Acting Chairperson: Commission for Gender Equality Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 24 June 2019 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. Twitter Handle: @CGE_ZA. Facebook Page: Gender Commission of South Africa. Toll Free Number: 0800 007 709. GBV Toll Free Number: 0800 428 428 Witness, Survivors and victims of GBV can send Please Call Me at *120*7867#

Re: INVITATION TO THE SOUTH AFRICA SYMPOSIUM ON THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

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Open SDG club @South Africa:

A civil society symposium

Dear Colleagues Re:  INVITATION TO THE SOUTH AFRICA SYMPOSIUM ON THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS Our transformative intent is to promote the delivery of sustainable development in South Africa, and to open-up the space for non-governmental stakeholders to engage with the process of delivering on the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Given that South Africa is participating in the United Nations Voluntary National Review in 2019, we view this as an important opportunity for civil society and other non-state actors to contribute to the report writing, and the broader review process of sustainable development in the country. African Monitor, in partnership with the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), HURISA and Centre for the Study of Violence and reconciliation (CSVR), will host a civil society symposium from the 12 until 14 June 2019 at Holiday Inn, 123 Rivonia Road, Sandton, Johannesburg, in support of the South African SCO Working Group on SDGs.  This invitation is extended to you or a representative of your organisation, to come and contribute this important process. The Open SDG Club @South Africa is a national symposium for civic actors to contribute to the VNR 2019 report and showcase innovative solutions to achieve the SDGs in South Africa.  Through this symposium, findings on SDG progress will be presented by civil society, business, academia and different spheres of government.  The South African government will also present the draft national VNR report, thus creating opportunity for engagement with non-state actors. The Open SDG Club @South Africa presents an opportunity for civil society and other civic actors in South Africa to review the SDGs and share perspectives in an open, inclusive and collaborative platform.  The symposium has been preceded by a consultative report writing process for the goals that are being reviewed through VNR 2019. Kindly confirm your attendance to this event by registering here by the 11th June 2019. For more information, contact Puseletso Maile at puseletso@africanmonitor.org or to advocacy@africanmonitor.org (011 – 589 9032). Kindly note that this is a self-sponsored event. However, if you represent a community-based organisation or NGO’s operating at provincial and local level to deliver on the SDGs and require travel and accommodation sponsorship, please send a request to Ms Maile on the email address above.  There is very limited sponsorship available for this purpose. Sincerely yours, African Monitor, CGE, HURISA, CSVR teams.

African Monitor hosts a Voluntary National Review (VNR) Civil Society Symposium

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PRESS STATEMENT

10 June 2019 African Monitor hosts a Voluntary National Review (VNR) Civil Society Symposium African Monitor, in partnership with the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE, HURISA and Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), will host a symposium to give voice to civil society with South Africa participating in the United Nations (UN) Voluntary National Review (VNR) 2019. The symposium, scheduled for 12-14 June 2019 in Johannesburg, will be in support of the South African CSO Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Given that South Africa is participating in the VNR 2019, the symposium will be an important opportunity for civil society and other non-state actors to contribute to the VNR 2019 report and showcase innovative solutions to achieve the SDGs in South Africa. In preparation for the VNR, African Monitor is spearheading the consultative process and the writing process of the report, and thus organizing the symposium for civil society in South Africa. Countries that are participating in the VNR are expected to submit comprehensive written reports that will be made available in the UN VNR database. In addition, each country will also be expected provide main messages summarizing their key findings. These reviews are supposed to draw on contributions from indigenous peoples, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders However, this role is often hindered because civil society and citizens remain without voice, influence or presence in spaces where decisions are made about SDGs implementation and monitoring. In South Africa, this is particularly the case as government (thus far) has made little progress to engage with civic actors.  Since South Africa announced that it will participate in the VNR 2019, it has become critical for civic actors to raise their voice and shape the process. Through this symposium, findings on SDGs progress will be presented by civil society, business, academia and different spheres of government.  The South African government will also present the draft national VNR report, thus creating opportunity for engagement with non-state actors. amstergirls.com ISSUED BY: AFRICAN MONITOR For more information, contact  Joyce Moholola on 021 447 0211 / 0829749222 or email at media@africanmonitor.org. For interview purposes: Please contact: Namhla Mniki Mangaliso - Executive Director African Monitor - 0834270122 Nonhlanhla Sibanda Moyo - Gender and Women's Rights Specialists - CSVR - 074581 9401