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CGE welcomes Sipho “Bricks” Ndlovu sentencing

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Media Release For Immediate Release: 17 October 2017 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE welcomes Sipho “Bricks” Ndlovu sentencing

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) welcomes the 15-year sentence handed to Sipho Ndlovu also known as Bricks for raping his niece. The Commission is of the view that the sentence is a clear indication that our justice system wants to curb gender based violence (GBV) in our society. The Commission condemns any kind of violence regardless of the gender of the person who commits it.

Although the Commission welcomes the decision, we are concerned with the continual delays in cases of GBV. It is therefore necessary for our justice system to address those systemic issues that cause cases of this nature to be delayed. The Commission’s court monitoring processes elsewhere in the country have convinced us that the speedy conclusion of GBV cases is important. These delays might affect those that are scheduled to testify and also prevent potential witnesses from coming forward.

The Commission calls upon the police to ensure that there is proper investigation. That the evidence to be led is credible and enough to ensure prosecution of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. The Commission believes this will help in speedy resolution of gender based violence cases which at best take too long to prosecute due to insufficient evidence.

We once again call on South Africans to join hands as part of the 365 Days of Activism to continue raising awareness and advocating against the scourge of gender based violence. We hope that people will start learning alternative ways of resolving conflicts without resorting to violence. People can use our Toll- Free Number 0800 007 709 to report cases of gender based violence. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date:   17 October 2017 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.

Gender Commission outraged at the molestation of learners in Soweto

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Media Release  For immediate Release: 13 October 2017 To: Producers, Reporters and editors    Gender Commission outraged at the molestation of learners in Soweto   The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has learnt with outrage and disgust about the molestation of 83 learners at AB Xuma Primary School in Soweto by a Scholar Patroller.  Through its mandate, the CGE will ensure that it supports and ensure that adequate interventions and responses are put in place by relevant state institutions and other stakeholders to ensure that no such flagrant abuses take place especially against defenceless children in a place of learning.   The CGE has also learnt that the alleged suspect has been apprehended by the police and has appeared before the courts. The CGE applauds the police for moving swiftly in arresting the alleged perpetrator and calls for justice to be served.   The Commission is also particularly worried at the secondary victimisation these learners suffered at the hands of those who were meant to protect them as there is allegation of cover-up by the Principal and Senior Management. The CGE will closely monitor the case as part of its routine court monitoring processes.   The CGE commends MEC Panyaza Lesufi for suspending the school principal and the senior management of the school for failing to act when allegations of abuse were reported to the school management some time ago. The CGE also applauds MEC Lesufi for ensuring that there was pyscho – therapy support for the learners. The CGE also expects MEC Lesufi to hold the School Governing Body (SGB) accountable for not discharging its responsibilities effectively in overseeing the work of the school management in this regard.   The Acting Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality, Dr. Nondumiso Maphazi, has this to say about the incident:   “It is with great sadness that we experience yet another horrific case of child molestation in our country. It should be noted that this happens at the time when the CGE is embarking on community outreach programmes and measures to raise public awareness on matters of gender based violence in our society. I would like to encourage stakeholders with specific interest in this matter to work together with the school, the office of MEC Lesufi and relevant law enforcement agencies not only to ensure that the perpetrator is dealt with, but also to ensure greater awareness of the risks of child abuse in our communities in general and our schools in particular”.   Dr. Maphazi further reiterated that: in accordance with section 54 of the Sexual Offences Amendment Act 32 of 2007 there is an obligation on all of us to report acts of sexual offences against children, women and persons who are mentally disabled. Failure to report this is considered an offence punishable by a fine and / or imprisonment.   We urge members of the public with information about acts of gender based violence and abuse of women or children, among others, to call our Toll-Free Number 0800 007 709 to report such cases.   ENDS,   Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date:   13 October 2017 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.

Gender Commission outraged at the senseless and barbaric killing of the De Doorns woman

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Gender Commission outraged at the senseless and barbaric killing of the De Doorns woman The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) is concerned with the gruesome murder of a woman by her partner in De Doorns, Western Cape. The senseless and barbaric killing of Laurina Ryk with a shovel by her 25-year-old boyfriend places the spotlight once again not only on intimate partner killings but also on gender based violence that continues unabated in South Africa.  Using a spade to kill a defenceless and vulnerable person should not be tolerated in a society that has embraced a Bill of Rights which espouses respect for dignity, equality and the right to security of every person. Although the Commission is grateful that the administration of justice will act in this matter and justice will most likely be delivered, this brings little comfort to family members who have lost a loved one and more especially the one year old child that will be adversely affected. Laurina’s death and the manner in which she lost her life, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend is yet another reminder that South Africa is not addressing gender based violence effectively. The CGE has not been silent on GBV which stalks both men and women but more especially our women and girls even in the “sanctuary” of their homes where they are supposed to be protected against harm and violence. In its 2013 Report on the Eradication of Violence Against Women and Children the CGE raised the fact that there is a need for South Africa to move beyond policy development and to initiate meaningful as well as coordinated strategic imperatives that will start reversing GBV. Even if the life of a single Laurina is saved, this would be a signal of victory against GBV because it would mark the beginning of an era where the government of the day is taking the most serious concern of women seriously, namely to heed the call of peace loving South Africans “to go to war against GBV”. In keeping with our Constitutional and Legal Mandate the Commission will be monitoring this case in ensuring that both the accused and the victims receive a fair trial. However, this will definitely not be the end of our commitment towards achieving a society free from all forms of gender oppression and inequality but strengthens our resolve to remind all in positions of authority that the CGE will continue with its initiatives aimed at reversing an abhorrent level of GBV which is wreaking havoc in our lives and our country. The time to act against GBV is now, therefore, the Commission calls upon South Africans to join hands as part of the 365 Days of Activism to continue raising awareness and advocating against the scourge of gender based violence. The Commission condemns any kind of gender based violence committed regardless of the gender of the person who commits it. We hope that people will start learning alternative ways of resolving conflicts as an ethos without resorting to violence.

People can use our Toll-Free Number 0800 007 709 to report cases of gender based violence.

ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date:   06 September 2017 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.

Thembelihle Base’s killing puts back on the spotlight yet another Intimate Partner Killing Case

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Thembelihle Base’s killing puts back on the spotlight yet another Intimate Partner Killing Case

On 27 August 2017, residents of Manyeyeni Trust, Kabokweni, outside White River in Mpumalanga woke up to a gruesome discovery of a partially decomposed body of Thembelihle Base. Ms Base was reported missing on the 10 August 2017. At the time of her disappearance, Ms Base was seen in the company of a 26-year-old man who was known to her. Her death brings back the spotlight onto the issue of gender based violence, particularly intimate partner violence. In this month focussing on issues affecting women, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has been using various fora or platforms to highlight the worrying and increasing incidents of crime related to gender based violence, particularly intimate partner killings. Most importantly, CGE is engaging men and boys about their role in ending the scourge of gender based violence as they are often the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. The Gender Commission sends condolences to Ms Base’s family and trusts that they would find comfort during these trying times. As part of our Constitutional and Legal Mandate the Commission will be monitoring this case to ensure that justice takes its course. We therefore call upon the community of Manyeyeni to respect the rule of law and trust that the court will administer justice without bias and prejudice. In line with the declaration of the International Conference for Women (ICW) that was hosted by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa there is a need to accelerate reform and initiatives to address violence against women and its impact on the economic and social empowerment of women. Further strengthen working relations of government; civil society as well as private sector in fighting the increasing human right violation of women and girls.   We once again implore South Africans to join hands as part of the 365 Days of Activism to continue raising awareness and advocating against the scourge of gender based violence. The Commission condemns any kind of gender based violence committed regardless of the gender of the person who commits it. We hope that people will start learning alternative ways of resolving conflicts without resorting to violence.     ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date:   31 August 2017 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.  

Gender Commission Hails First Black Woman CEO for BP Southern Africa

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Gender Commission Hails First Black Woman CEO for BP Southern Africa The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) wishes to congratulate Ms Bafelelang Priscillah Mabelane, the first Black woman Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of British Petroleum Southern Africa. This appointment will serve as an inspiration for other women provided that similar opportunities are made available by more corporate entities to more experienced and capable women in South Africa.   The CGE is confident that Ms Mabelane’s business experience and leadership qualities, acquired from years of hard work with various companies including ACSA, Vodacom and BP Southern Africa, amongst others, will have prepared her thoroughly for this new and exciting challenge. The Commission, in its report on transformation in the private sector, has decried lack of gender transformation and the limited opportunities when it comes to women ascending to positions of power and influence in the corporate world. The Commission therefore hopes that Ms Mabelane’s appointment heralds a trend that will only intensify going forward rather than remain only an isolated incident.   The Gender Commission will always, if called upon, give the necessary advice and encouragement to corporate and other entities to sustain the momentum towards gender transformation and women’s empowerment in South Africa. It is our belief that other women, in particularly girl children will look at this not as a fulfilment of a dream for Ms Mabelane but a constant reminder that they too can do just that, if not more.   ENDS,   Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date:   30 August 2017 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 to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.  

CGE ALARMED OVER HEIGHTENING STATE OF GENDER BASED VIOLENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA

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CGE ALARMED OVER HEIGHTENING STATE OF GENDER BASED VIOLENCE IN SOUTH AFRICA   At its quarterly Plenary meeting held on the 16- 18 August, 2017, in Johannesburg, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), reflected on a number of recent incidents of violence against women and related issues of concern for the country, and wishes to bring to the attention of   the nation the following:   In the absence of a national strategic plan on gender based violence as well as a national coordinating structure bringing together the efforts of all stakeholders (in government, the private sector and civil society) to promote gender equality, the Commission believes there has sadly been a rolling back of the gains made in the advancement of the gender agenda;   Various studies including the Commission’s studies point to a dire need for a consolidated approach that will be effectively coordinated to address the root causes of these atrocities against women and children in our communities. The Commission in the past three years has conducted numerous research work on national effort/programme to deal with gender based violence. All studies indicate that the country is failing to come up with a coordinated approach to deal with the scourge against gender based violence.   In recent months, we have witnessed a rising tidal wave of gender-based violence, including this month of August in which the country commemorates the rights and historic struggles of women;   Patriarchy remains endemic in our society, permeating the highest levels of leadership even turning those who ordinarily would be expected to be models of gender sensitivity into perpetrators of gender-based violence; ala Deputy Minister of Higher Education Mduduzi Manana, Marks Maponyane etc   The Commission for Gender Equality therefore urges all parties concerned to observe the following points of action:  

  • Government in general must put in place a National Co-ordinating Structure to combat gender-based violence;
 
  • The Ministry of Women in the Presidency must mobilise and re-energise stakeholders within the National Gender Machinery, and other related structures to take lead the fight to end the scourge of gender-based violence;
 
  • The Commission urges all progressive forces in society to develop a programme to collectively mobilise the necessary resources across the country to fight the scourge of gender -based violence.
 
  • That gender based violence work is carried out #365days
   
  • We urge men and boys to stand up in solidarity with other stakeholders in the fight against gender-based violence, to help our communities to combat atrocities against women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities.
 
  • Let this month be the turning point in the struggle for gender justice in South Africa.
 
  • We must ensure that women’s lives are not dominated by fear and insecurity. Many women feel like “the hunted” in their own homes, in their communities and in their workplaces, indeed even in places of worship.
  We have recently observed that it is also a matter of power relations, where more powerful women in positions of leadership, including women who are politically connected, are also capable of committing atrocities against the weak and vulnerable.   The Commission will therefore be seeking an urgent meeting with the Ministry of the Police in South Africa to discuss the role of the police in the Manana case, the Zimbabwean First Lady case and the protection of women, children, LGBTI and men from gender based violence.   The Commission is also concerned about the inconsistencies that arise due to systemic issues in the judicial wherein cases of gender based violence take too long to prosecute in the process the victim suffers secondary victimisation.   It is our collective duty and responsibility as a nation to take whatever steps are necessary to protect the weak, vulnerable and subordinate from the violence perpetrated not only by men, but also by those in positions of power and authority such as the recent saga involving the Zimbabwean First Lady, Madam Grace Mugabe. The Commission’s Constitutional mandate “to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality” places upon it the burden to ensure that our country observes the right of women to be protected against gender based violence.   Ends,   Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality Tel: 083 579 3306 Enquiries: Javu Baloyi Date: 18 August 2017 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    

Gender Base Violence – Stakeholder and Media Dialogue

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ARE THE FPB’S CLASSIFICATION GUIDELINES STILL REFLECTIVE OF SOCIETAL NORMS AND VALUES OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN PUBLIC?                                                                                                  Johannesburg, 17 August 2017- The Film and Publication Board (FPB) is undertaking a process of reviewing its current Classification Guidelines to measure whether they are still reflective of South Africa’s societal norms and values. A stakeholder and media dialogue will be hosted at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Center on the 23rd August 2017, under the theme “Sexual Violence and its prevalence in the media”. The dialogue will be focusing on how exposure to violence, sex and sexual violence in the media impacts on societal norms and values.   “South Africa is rated amongst the worst societies when it comes to violence against women and children. As part of commemorating women’s month, the FPB wants to focus on sexual violence in the media through assessing the prevalence of gender stereotypes and gender based violence in the media,” says Abongile Mashele, FPB’s Acting Chief Operations Officer.   She further states that violence against women does not end with physical violence; other forms of violence including emotional and psychological violence have no visible scars but have long effects on victims and survivors. These can be worsened through constant exposure to similar themes in the media through film and other forms of entertainment media. Furthermore, constant exposure can lead to children being desensitized and normalizing such behavior.   The FPB has partnered with Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) for the dialogues. The partnership stems from the previous classification guidelines review process which introduced the classifiable element of “Sexual Violence (SV)”. The SV classifiable element warns consumers in advance that the content has sexual violence scenes such as rape and physical violence.   The dialogues seeks to kick start the process of reviewing the current Classification Guidelines. Previously, the classification guidelines were reviewed every two years and where there were legal amendments it was revised as deemed necessary. However, the Council of the FPB took the view that norms, values and tolerance levels do not change rapidly over two years. A five year review period was introduced to take into consideration long term changes in cultural norms and values.   ENDS  Gender Based violence - Stakeholder and Media dialogue Issued by: Mr. Sipho Mkhwanazi Digital Content Coordinator 083 573 2543   Enquiries: Ms. Manala Botolo Acting Manager Communications and Public Education 082 860 6748   Notes to the Editor The current classification guidelines were last reviewed in 2012 and subsequently published in October 2014 and have been applied since.   The purpose of the Film and Publication Board (“FPB”) is to inter alia provide consumer advice to enable adults to make informed viewing, reading and gaming choices for both themselves and the children in their care. Furthermore, the FPB is mandated to protect children from exposure to disturbing and harmful materials and from premature exposure to adult experiences.   To this end, the FPB classifies films, interactive computer games and certain publications using the classification guidelines as approved by the Council of the FPB in consultation with the Minister of Communications (“Minister”) pursuant to the provisions of section 4A(1)(a) of the Films and Publications Act 65 of 1996, as amended (“FP Act or the Act”).  

Women workers still bear the brunt of slow pace Inclusive workplaces

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The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has observed with great interest the heightened activism in addressing gender equality by multi-sectorial organisations. Informed by its own studies on gender transformation that looked at the mining sector, institutions of higher learning and various industries, the Commission believes there has been minimal progress in addressing gender transformation in the workplace.   While women constitute 51% of the population in the country, they continue to remain largely oppressed and exploited. Women continue to face persistent marginalisation from power and influence. This can be attributed to a range of factors including the influences of South Africa’s colonial history and dominant patriarchal paradigms.   The Commission’s Employment Equity report points to a dire situation of gender discrimination in the workplace, e.g. inadequate policy adherence that seek to empower women.  The report has also noted an increase in reported cases of sexual harassment and rape. The Gender Commission is also cognisant that there are pay gaps between men and women, yet they are doing the same job with similar qualification.   The Commission will continue to support any structure in our society that has a deep interest in ensuring that gender discrimination, women empowerment and career progression of women in the workplace is addressed.  The CGE appeals to the leaders of the industries to be cognisant of women’s basic human rights such as maternity leave and provision of suitable health and safety personal protective equipment.  Trade Unions should continue raising women worker rights in the workplaces. We also implore the Private sector to strongly consider and share Good practices inter sectorally and across the economic sectors on women employment. We urge women that are affected by the above-mentioned aspects to call our Toll-Free Number 0800 007 709 to report such cases.   ENDS,   Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date:  26 August 2017 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality 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.

CGE finds the latest Zapiro Cartoon on Lady South Africa Inappropriate

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Press Release For immediate release: 12 April 2017 To Producers, Editors and Reporters   CGE finds the latest Zapiro Cartoon on Lady South Africa Inappropriate       In a country where sexual violence and rape are endemic, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) finds the latest work on Lady South Africa by Cartoonist Jonathan “Zapiro” Shapiro in a bad taste. The Commission believes the metaphor of using rape to drive the message across is not appropriate. Equally so, it is our view as the Commission that going forward people should not use the word “rape” loosely as it invokes emotion and rescars survivors of rape. The CGE understands that there is freedom of expression, however that freedom comes with responsibilities particularly when it comes to symbolisms that are being used in this regard to communicate a message to the broader society.   The CGE believes that rape cannot be normailised regardless of the situation. As the Commission, we constantly conduct legal clinics and outreach programmes as a way of educating citizenry about the scourge and what to do in instances where rape has taken place. The prevalence of rape as per the 2016 Crime statistics on Sexual Offences was 51 895, moreso with views that this area of crime statistics is prone to under-reporting by victims of crime, which suggests that the SAPS crime statistics relating to sexual offences might not be a true reflection of the current state of sexual offences in the country. Clearly this indicates that the symbolism or the metaphor of rape cannot be used to equate the two as mutually inclusive.   Rape dehumanizes human beings. It is a trauma that those that have not been subjected to it, may think little of it. The CGE therefore is asking Zapiro to reflect and ascertain whether given our diversity this type of symbolism is helpful without restricting freedom of expression. We hope out this he will reconsider the use of rape as symbolism to express his view.   The CGE therefore encourages the public to make use of its Toll – Free number 0800 007 709, to report any matter that relates to gender based violence. Alternatively, members of the public may also visit CGE offices which are based in all nine provinces to report such cases.   Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date:   12 April 2017 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equal ity is established in terms of Section 181 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.      

CGE bids farewell to former Human Rights Struggle Stalwart Mr. Ahmed “Uncle Kathy” Kathrada

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Press Release For Immediate release: 28 March 2017 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters   CGE bids farewell to former Human Rights Struggle Stalwart Mr. Ahmed “Uncle Kathy” Kathrada

Today South Africans and the rest of the world woke up to the news of Mr. Ahmed “Uncle Kathy” Kathrada’s passing. The former human rights struggle icon sadly passed away at Dr. Gordon Hospital last night following an operation to remove a blood clot in his brain. The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) joins the nation in sending its heartfelt condolences to the Kathrada family, Mme Barbara Hogan, the African National Congress (ANC) and his comrades.

This moment calls on us to uphold the values that this activist for justice espoused and challenges all of us to continue to strive for a just society that is free from all forms of oppression and inequalities. South Africans in all walks will remember Uncle Kathy as a humbly, selfless person who championed for the human rights of all and ideologised a non-racial, non-sexist, and democratic society in South Africa.

As South Africans, we need to celebrate uncle Kathy’s life through respecting and upholding the values of the Constitution, developing programmes that will eradicate poverty and ending violence against vulnerable groups including children, women, LGBTI community, disabled people and the elderly people”, said Ms. Thoko Mpumlwana, Acting Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality.

It is through heroes like Uncle Kathy that during the transition period institutions supporting constitutional democracy like CGE were established. Uncle Kathy’s humility, selflessness and resilience for the advancement of human rights saw him starting the Ahmed Kathrada foundation to continue the fight for the ideals that he lived for until the end.

On behalf of the Commission for Gender Equality, “We say your memory and what you laboured for will be your legacy. We shall never forget the footprints you left behind”, Thoko Mpumlwana added.

May your soul rest in peace, Hamba Kahle,  lala ngoxolo, Uncle Kathy!   ENDS Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date:   28 March 2017 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 to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.