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Gender-Based Violence Petition 

Justice Desk Africa’s global GBV Campaign, “Men: Your Actions Define You”, is aimed at disrupting the current narrative which underpins the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and femicide crisis in South-Africa. This incorrect narrative states that GBV and Violence Against Women (VAW), is a social issue experienced by women, which therefore should be responded to and challenged by women.

Men are the main perpetrators of all forms of violence and GBV in South Africa. However, many men do not think of GBV as an issue that they are responsible for, nor an issue they have the responsibility to end. This often leaves the female, queer, and child victims and survivors of GBV alone in standing up to eradicate it. This campaign makes a bold statement in challenging socially-accepted norms and behaviours, by publicly labelling unhealthy toxic-masculine standards and how they manifest in society as accepted acts of violence against women.


Justice Desk Africa’s Petition against Gender-Based Violence in South Africa.


Gender-based violence is deeply rooted in gender inequality and continues to be one of the most notable human rights violations within all sectors of society.


The current president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, addressed the nation and declared that “another pandemic is raging in our country, the killing of women and children by the men of our country” a powerful message that has been stated by women for years. GBV (VAW) in South Africa is a present and consistent threat to women, yet our media, communities and government responses do not consistently reflect this.


The rates of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), specifically violence against women at the hands of men in South Africa, has infiltrated all aspects of the lived experience of being a woman. It is present in the school, home, community and public sector.


As a country, we have been slow to respond to this epidemic, and current attempts at addressing GBV have been haphazard at the least, and uncoordinated at best. Women are not safe in public spaces, in government buildings in their schools or even in their own homes.

It is the belief of The Justice Desk and all those who sign and support this petition, that in order to address gender-based violence and femicide, we are in desperate need of effective governmental services, leadership and coordination. In this submission, The Justice Desk notes that the following areas are of particular concern and require intervention:

  1. The structure of SAPS and the accountability required from this institution;

  2. The review of legislation that allows for more immediate and effective responses to the plight of women at the provincial levels, and

  3. The effective prosecutions of offenders of GBVF. 


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