President Cyril Ramaphosa has launched a private sector-led, multi-sectoral Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) Response Fund aimed at supporting the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP), and the wider response in the country.

The response fund is a fulfilment of a resolution of the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Declaration which followed the GBVF Summit held in 2018.

The summit brought together government, civil society and other role players in an effort to find lasting interventions to end GBVF.

The declaration endorsed President Ramaphosa’s call to all South Africans, including the private sector to respond to gender-based violence (GBV), and to allocate the resources required for a national strategy.        

Objectives and pledges:

The fund has the following objectives:

• It is a vehicle for private sector contributions;

• Resources for the implementation of the NSP;

• Provide the necessary programming and financial infrastructure;

• Robust accountability and governance for private sector funds;

• Facilitate operational and strategic cohesion between donors and government; and

• Technical support for efficient and effective delivery of programmes.

During the launch, business and donor communities commended President Ramaphosa for supporting the effort to end GBVF. They also pledged some millions to the fund.

These included a R30 million contribution by Anglo-American, R20 million by ABSA Bank, and a R20 million contribution by the Ford Foundation.

Violence against women and children is everybody’s business, and companies can do a lot to contribute. The cost of domestic violence to the country’s economy and society are enormous. In 2014 alone, it was estimated at between R28.4 billion and R42.4 billion. The private sector can reduce this burden by contributing to efforts to prevent the abuse of women and children.

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Author – Jessica Gooding

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