South Africans on 21 March will be observing and celebrating human rights day looking back at the gains and challenges that have been achieved in the past 20 years in terms of human rights and gender equality. 2015 also heralds a significant landmark in terms of human rights and gender equality. South Africa will be reporting before the CEDAW (Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Abuse against Women) Committee on the gains and challenges on the attainment of gender equality. Equally 2015 has been declared by AU (African Union) as a “Decade of African Women. The SADC Protocol on Gender and Development also sets up measurable goals towards the attainment of gender equality. This year will also a shift from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs have specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals that will go a long way in ensuring that gender equality is realised and that the world is a better place for all. The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), during the human rights month, will be embarking in various activities to create awareness to women and girls on their rights. We will also be creating platforms for women to “speak out” on the violation of their rights, hence also asking men to play a significant role in ensuring that they work together with women in curbing gender based violence. “It is critical important for society to note that women rights are human rights and to insist on respect for and access to them”, Said Thoko Mpumlwana, the Acting Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality. It is the Commission’s wish that many people benefit from our human rights campaign run together with various media platforms and in collaborations with other Chapter 9 Institutions in ensuring that right-based issues with regard to gender equality are realised. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 20 March 2015 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.
On 09 March, South Africans woke up to news reports from the media concerning the death of musician Nkululeko Habedi, also known as “Flabba”, a founding member of the hip hop group Skwatta Kamp. Based on several sources and news reports it is alleged that Habedi died in the hands of his intimate partner. His death brings back the spotlight on the issues of gender based violence particularly intimate partner violence. During 16 Days of Activism in 2014 the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) used various fora or platforms to highlight the worrying and increasing numbers in intimate partner killings. The Commission sends condolences to Habedi’s family and trust that they would find comfort during these trying times. As part of 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. We call upon the supporters and fans of Habedi, aka “Flabba” to respect the rule of law and trust that the court will administer justice without bias and prejudice. The Commission’s court monitoring processes of the Oscar Pistorious case has convinced us that a speedy conclusion of cases of gender based violence can be realised, and it is for this reason that we hope that the same occurs in the Habedi case; hence we encourage the public and family of Habedi to stay put and allow the law to take its course. 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 as an ethos without resorting to violence. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 11 March 2015 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.