The Interim Steering Committee on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide - on which Masimanyane serves - has formally handed its National Strategic Plan (NSP) on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, as well as the Emergency Response Action Plan (ERAP), to President Cyril Ramaphosa during a virtual meeting this week.
The meeting also explored ways in which government and civil society can combat violence against, and the abuse of vulnerable persons and groups as part of the national response to COVID-19.
The steering committee, which comprises government and civil society delegates, reported on progress in addressing five key intervention areas:
Access to justice for victims and survivors;
Changing norms and behaviour through high-level prevention efforts;
Urgently responding to survivors of GBV;
Strengthening accountability and architecture to respond to the scourge of GBVF adequately, and
Prioritising interventions that facilitate economic opportunities for addressing women’s economic vulnerability.
President Ramaphosa praised the committee for its work, and said he hoped the finalisation of the ERAP process heralded the start of a new accelerated pace to combat gender-based violence.
"As we reclaim our society from the clutches of violence, homophobia, chauvinism and misogyny, this National Strategic Plan is both our shield and our armour. We will spare no effort until this country’s women and children are safe, can live, work and play in freedom, and their rights upheld.
"The Covid-19 pandemic that is engulfing the world brings with it challenges for implementing gender-based violence as women may be experiencing emotional and physical violence behind the walls of their homes," he said.
"Armed with the Emergency Pathways for Gender-Based Violence and Femicide in the context of COVID-19, women may be helped to navigate the journey from the time of the violence, towards finding immediate assistance, support and safety and ultimately towards surviving and healing in the medium to long term from GBV."
The ERAP and NSP interventions are aligned to the pillars of the National Strategic Plan, which was approved in March 2020.
They are integral to a broader, sustained and strengthened response to all forms of GBVF in the country, which that addresses underlying structural drivers such as economic power, and the pervasiveness of violence and related systems of inequality.
It is also envisaged that strategic synergies with other key initiatives, including the District Development Model, will be maximised to achieve a grounded, multi-sectoral and intersectional approach to the NSP.
"We are committed to galvanising support for this plan by creating a permanent structure to steer its implementation; as well as to budgeting for it over the next triennium," the President noted.
Download the completed documents at the links below.