Advocate Brenda Madumisa, Co-chair of the presidential steering committee on the national strategic plan, delivered a powerful keynote address at the accountability dialogue in East London. She emphasized the need for South Africans to move beyond surface-level analysis and truly examine the experiences of women when addressing discrimination and violence against them. Madumisa also highlighted the lack of accountability from law enforcement agencies and urged citizens to demand responsibility from those in positions of power.
Challenging Assumptions and Superficiality:
Madumisa called for a comprehensive understanding of women's experiences, urging society to look beyond appearances and language skills. She expressed concern over instances where women are dismissed or rushed through the legal process based on assumptions about their abilities or power. This superficial approach hinders progress in addressing gender-based violence.
The advocate criticised the lack of accountability from law enforcement agencies and those in positions of power responsible for addressing gender-based violence. She stressed that victims should not have to constantly seek updates or assistance with their cases. Madumisa called for a collective effort to prioritize accountability when interacting with national or provincial offices, emphasising that citizens should not view themselves as nuisances but as agents of change.
Dismantling Systems of Injustice:
Madumisa highlighted that addressing individual cases of gender-based violence is not enough. She emphasized the need to dismantle the societal norms and power structures that perpetuate discrimination and violence against women. By doing so, South Africa can work towards eradicating these injustices at their core.
About the Accountability Dialogue
The accountability dialogue was organized by Masimanyane Women's Rights International and Women Ikhwelo Network (WIN). Representing 116 civil society organizations, mainly from rural areas in the Eastern Cape, these groups have been actively working towards ending gender-based violence and femicide at the local and community levels. The dialogue serves as a platform for the state and civil society to report on progress made and discuss current challenges in the fight against gender-based violence and femicide.
By Staff Writer