Int Women’s Day should serve as reminder of GBV, inequality: activists

Director of the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Abused Women and Children Bernadine Bachar said equality for women remains a far cry.

FILE: Protesters demonstrate against gender-based violence in front of Parliament on 30 June 2020. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Monday marks International Women's Day.

In South Africa, many women, however, not only have to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also domestic violence, rape and femicide.

Women's rights activists say the day served as a stark reminder of the injustices women face.

READ: SA’s second pandemic of 2020: Gender-based violence

Director of the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Abused Women and Children, Bernadine Bachar, said equality for women remained a far cry.

“We're very much, as women, labouring under a patriarchal system in South Africa, and gender equality is still something that we're working towards.”

Considering the alarmingly high rates of gender-based violence in the country, Bachar said the scourge needed to be fought head-on and believed reforming the criminal justice system was one way of doing so.

“We've gone quite far with the so-called GBV bill, but there's much work still to be done. We still need to be looking at the Victim Support Services Bill.”

READ: 'We will speak for them': Ramaphosa slams ‘war on women’ in SA

She adds bill in its current form is flawed and highly equitable.

GBV activist and survivor Chalmane Kruger agreed and is determined to continue to fight for the dignity and rights of the fairer sex.

“Women don't feel worthy anymore, because of the fact that they need to fear for their lives.”

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