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Viewing posts categorised under: Press Statement

JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE CRL RIGHTS COMMISSION AND THE COMMISSION FOR GENDER EQUALITY AFTER THEIR MEETING WITH PRINCES MASINDI CLEMENTINE MPHEPHU OF THE VHA-VENDA KINGDOM

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JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE CRL RIGHTS COMMISSION AND THE COMMISSION FOR GENDER EQUALITY AFTER THEIR MEETING WITH PRINCES MASINDI CLEMENTINE MPHEPHU OF THE VHA-VENDA KINGDOM

PUBLIC INVESTIGATIVE HEARINGS ON THE STATE OF SHELTERS IN SOUTH AFRICA

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Invitation to Hearings on Gender Transformation at Institutions of Higher Learning

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Media-invitation-to-Hearings-on-Gender-transformation-at-Institutions-of-Higher-Learning-26-27-November-2019

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Media invitation to Hearings on Gender transformation at Institutions of Higher Learning 26-27 November 2019

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#