UNFPA: SA should collaborate with other countries to tackle GBV
The UNFPA’s Beatrice Mutali said that the scourge of gender-based violence exacerbated by the lockdown in South Africa was concerning.
DURBAN - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said that as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, the world was also facing a number of other problems that needed urgent attention.
This includes the number of women unable to access family planning, along with gender-based violence and other harmful practices, which could skyrocket globally in the months ahead.
In a report released this World Population Day, the UNFPA said that social issues which drove problems such as gender inequality made the case for greater international efforts aimed at empowering women and girls.
The UNFPA’s Beatrice Mutali told Eyewitness News that this meant that countries like South Africa should collaborate with others in tackling issues such as gender-based violence.
Mutali said that the scourge of gender-based violence exacerbated by the lockdown in South Africa was concerning.
"At the onset of COVID-19 where we had more than 2,000 cases reported, so comparatively, when we look at other parts of the world, that is significant."
She said that part of the solution was empowering women and girls economically.
"When girls are given the opportunity to complete their education, that in itself is empowering enough. When girls are able to do that and get into the job market, it gives them an opportunity to stand up for their rights."
She said that there should be greater efforts to partner with local communities.
"If you look at some of the religious institutions, they have the power to change some of the thinking. If we used some of our existing educational systems, they have the power."
Mutali said that government should also invest more in preventative social behaviour change programmes aimed at rooting out harmful practices.