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Ramaphosa proposes 'bold steps' to transform 'deeply patriarchal' SA

President Cyril Ramaphosa said government would transform the justice system to ensure it worked favourably for victims of gender-based violence.

President Cyril Ramaphosa speaking at the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union’s national congress in Durban on 16 September 2019. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

DURBAN - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that South Africa was deeply patriarchal and bold steps must be taken to transform it into a gender-equitable country.

He was speaking at the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union’s national congress in Durban on Monday.

The president called for changes to the country’s political and economic spheres to fight the scourge of violence against women.

He said government would transform the justice system to ensure it worked favourably for victims of gender-based violence.

“We will train police and equip them to better deal with gender-based violence cases and sexual assault. We will establish more victim survival care centres.”

Ramaphosa also called for the education system to be reviewed.

“We must create gender-neutral spaces in our school curriculum. We must empower boys and girls to understand that they’re equal.”

Ramaphosa also used the opportunity to condemn recent attacks on foreign nationals, insisting that criminality will not be tolerated.

CULTURAL PRACTICES

President Ramaphosa also said that men must speak out and challenge harmful cultural practices that undermined the rights of women and girls.

He took part in a gathering where issues around femicide and the killing of people with albinism was held yesterday in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape.

Ramaphosa spoke out against customs which neglected the fairer sex.

"We must begin to deal with our cultural practices because many of them go against our Constitution and our bill of rights."

He also reiterated that sex offenders should have the book thrown at them.

"The sentences that are given to those who have raped and killed women should be serious sentences and, in fact, in my book, they should be life sentences."

Additional reporting by Kevin Brandt.

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