Filed under GENDER POLITICS

Implementing the MDGs for Women and Girls: Conclusions from the Commission on the Status of Women

Implementing the MDGs for Women and Girls: Conclusions from the Commission on the Status of Women

The 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) took place from 10 March 2014 to 21 March 2014 at the United Nations in New York. The aim for this year’s session was to examine the challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls. Charlene May discusses how likely that is going to be, and how necessary it will be for government to put their money where their mouth is. Continue reading

Cine-Ndaba needs your support to make a documentary about gender-based violence

The Cine-Ndaba team are a group of Fulbright alumni who have come to a point of reckoning with the levels of gender related violence in South Africa. We feel that the dialogue around this issue is often governed by those who are not most proximate to the issue. Cine-Ndaba was conceived out of the desire to bring this conversation closer to women who have been directly impacted, placing the tools of narration in their hands. Through workshopping processes on basic filmmaking and storytelling, we will be collaborating with a group of women who have experienced violence. But, they need your support! Find out more. Continue reading

I’m bummed

I’m bummed

Chuma Xundu speaks about the association of women with their body parts, and the disassociation between women’s minds and their body. She looks at the recent #BoityReaction saga, and how often the point that women are making is lost in discussions about their bodies Continue reading

Under-funding rape and domestic violence services: Neglecting women’s well-being, neglecting women’s work?

Under-funding rape and domestic violence services: Neglecting women’s well-being, neglecting women’s work?

Domestic violence is the most common form of violence experienced by South African women and causes the greatest number of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases in women, according to the South African Stress and Health Survey conducted by the University of Cape Town and Johns Hopkins University. The same study found that rape, another crime overwhelmingly experienced by women and girls, was the form of violence most likely to result in PTSD, in addition to causing the most severe and long-term forms of PTSD.[1] But this is not all: depression, anxiety, suicidality, substance abuse, repeated victimisation, disability, HIV-infection and chronic physical health problems may also arise following an experience of rape or domestic violence. Good services to victims and their families are therefore crucial, both in ameliorating post-traumatic stress, as well as preventing some of these other health consequences from developing.

However, where these two crimes are concerned, no service is better than a bad service. A very substantial body of research shows that services do more harm than good when provided by people who have not been adequately trained to respond to rape and domestic violence, who also hold victim-blaming beliefs and do not receive debriefing and supervision. In other words, some degree of specialisation is required to provide quality services. Yet, in the context of funding cuts which began in 2010 and shifts in Department of Social Development (DSD) policy around funding to non-governmental organisations (NGO), it seems that fewer services of deteriorating quality are precisely what is being provided to survivors of rape and domestic violence. Continue reading

NGOs urge Minister Gordhan to address the chronic under-funding of rape and domestic violence services and the under-valuing of NGOs’ work.

NGOs urge Minister Gordhan to address the chronic under-funding of rape and domestic violence services and the under-valuing of NGOs’ work.

Ahead of the National Budget speech on Wednesday, 26 February the Shukumisa Campaign is urging Minister Pravin Gordhan to recognise demands for better services for survivors of rape and domestic violence. This is in the wake of a report released today by the Campaign which found that funding cuts to just 17 organisations serving this group of victims led to the loss of 100 jobs between 2010 and 2013. At least 10 services provided by these 17 organisations were also closed. Continue reading

Say Yes to the Dress?

Say Yes to the Dress?

Kameel Premhid considers the arguments for judging Thandile Sunduza’s fashion sense at the State of the Nation Address last week. Some of the more amusing arguments have included: (a) that she was being criticised for her choice of fashion against an objective standard – not that she was female; and (b) that being an MP means she is expected to set an example and her choice, which was an allegedly poor one, made criticising her fair game. Kameel finds these both wanting. Continue reading