06 Sep Tambo Foundation Statement on Violence Against Women 6 September
Johannesburg, South Africa: 06 September 2019 – The Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation wishes to express its solidarity with the women of South Africa who have taken to the streets in their numbers throughout the course of this week to call for the government to take measures to protect their fundamental human rights to life and safety. Women have for too long suffered atrocities at the hands of men. The Foundation condemns gender-based violence and femicide in the strongest form!
The recent increase in reported femicides in the media has highlighted the long and deeply concerning the history of violence against women in South Africa. The attacks on women in their homes, in the streets, and their places of employment are a direct assault on the freedoms that South Africans fought so hard to attain. Embedded in our constitution is the right to life, freedom and security of the person. This is not because we need to protect “our” women – our sisters, our mothers, our daughters – as a possession of men, as has been the narrative de rigueur, but because women are human beings for whom these rights are equally enshrined.
Although heartened by President Ramaphosa’s address outside Parliament on Thursday, 05 September 2019, indicating that government will address this national crisis, the Foundation calls on the government of South Africa to ensure that the implementation of concrete measures are taken and resources made available to safeguard the lives of women in our country. Swift and long-lasting measures have to be implemented in combating men’s mentality of entitlement to women’s bodies. Increased safety mechanisms need to be put in place in order to reduce the amount of attacks and increase the effectiveness of police and reporting procedures.
Additionally, In order to find an impactful and sustainable solution to the daily abuse of women in South Africa, the men of our country need to be active in condemning violence against women. Be it publicly or in their respective circles of influence, this situation requires a change in behaviour of and by men, not the increase in safety and defence mechanisms of women.
The Foundation reiterates its commitment to the development and empowerment of women to build the South Africa we want.
Violence against women must end now. Enough is enough!