Kgalemelang: An Intersectional Approach is needed To Address GBVF And Demand Accountability

Kgalemelang: An Intersectional Approach is needed To Address GBVF And Demand Accountability

The recent report issued by the Minister of police Bheki Cele has highlighted once again that the rates of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) in South Africa are increasing instead of going down. It has become normal to see headlines of yet another child, woman and LGBTQIA+ person who has been raped or ruthlessly killed.
Kgalemelang: An Intersectional Approach is needed To Address GBVF And Demand Accountability

Minister Bheki Cele on the 23rd of November 2022, two days before the start of the international 16 days of Activism against women and children’s abuse, reported that more than 10 000 people were victims of rape between July and September of 2022. This represents an increase of 10.8% compared to the same period last year. Moreover, the killing of women and children worsened in the second quarter, with reports of 989 women who were murdered, alongside 315 boys and girls aged 0 to 17 years old. South Africa, we have a serious problem on our hands.

Following the Presidential Summit on GBVF, where President Ramaphosa reassured his commitment to end the crisis of GBVF in the country, the Soul City Institute through its Kgalemelang campaign, continues to demand accountability from all stakeholders to ensure that we close the gap between promises and implementation. ‘Kgalemelang’ is a Sesotho and Setswana word that means to ‘call to order’ or ‘‘challenge’ the status quo. It is throughout this campaign that the Soul City Institute continues to take a stance and demand accountability from everyone during the 16 Days of Activism for no violence against children and women, not forgetting sexually and gender diverse people. 

We demand accountability from the government, for its failure to address the compounded barriers to accessing safety, healthcare, and justice for victims of GBV, as well as ensuring that girls, women and LGBTQIA+ people live fulfilling lives, free from violence. This campaign is there to sensitize communities to the issues as well as to seek solutions, while holding those in power accountable. 

In sensitising communities, the Soul City Institute is calling for an intersectional approach, noting that GBVF campaigning is often cis-heteronormative and ableist because of the social constructs enforced by colonial patriarchy, which determine who is seen as vulnerable and worthy of protection. An intersectional response to GBVF allows us to reflect honestly on the lived experiences of those who find themselves on the margins of race, class, sexuality, nationality, and disability, and how they are affected by GBVF. The campaign grounds our activism in social justice and calls for social institutions such as churches, schools to meaningfully change the conditions that perpetuate oppressions and exclusion of LGBTQIA+ people and persons with disabilities.

The call for intersectionality is aligned with this year’s theme for 16 Days of Activism, Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment to Build Women’s Resilience against GBVF: Connect, Collaborate and Contract. Women and LGBTQIA+ people face multiple barriers in accessing employment opportunities, while those who are sex workers are unprotected against violence in the workplace. Economic discrimination and vulnerability further expose these groups to violence.

According to We Decide, a UNFPA led initiative, between 40 and 68 percent of young women with disabilities experience sexual violence before the age of eighteen. Meanwhile, negative public attitudes towards same-gender relationships can be linked to the pattern of discrimination, violence, hatred, and extreme prejudice against people known or assumed to be lesbian, gay, and transgender. We read the horrific statistics all the time, but we do not know who these victims are and how their stories end.

As underscored by our chairperson, Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, a non-binary approach to gender-based violence is well-rooted in international human rights law. We believe that in seeking to end and respond to GBVF, we must ensure that no one is further marginalized. Dismantling patriarchy should then be at the center of GBV and femicide prevention.

Soul City Institute’s Kgalemelang: From Awareness to Accountability, continues to challenge everyone to hold themselves and other stakeholders accountable for their part in ending the crisis of GBVF. Throughout the 16 days we will be amplifying voices of experience by engaging with different CBOs implementing GBVF prevention interventions in the different hotspots to amplify their efforts and highlight the challenges faced in doing this important work. 

Freedom from violence is a human right for all. It is unacceptable that the rights of girls, women and LGBTQIA+ people are violated at such alarming rates. We call on everyone to Kgalemela this behavior in the strongest ways possible.

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Soul City Institute Communications Team
011 771 9001

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