Dr. Eileen Carter from the Eastern Cape SA Human Rights Commission, has shed light on its mandate, its approach to addressing human rights violations, and its efforts to promote gender equality. Additionally, she discusses the need for innovative solutions and the use of technology in fighting gender-based violence.
The SAHRC's Mandate:
As Dr. Carter explained, the SAHRC was established by the Constitution and is tasked with promoting, monitoring, and protecting human rights. While its focus is not solely on gender, it recognises the importance of addressing gender-related issues within the broader context of human rights.
Promoting Gender Equality:
Carter emphasized that advocacy is a key tool used by the SAHRC to promote gender equality.
Despite limited resources, the commission strives to push women's rights to the forefront of discussions. For instance, she highlighted the underrepresentation of women in senior management positions, despite their majority in the population. She called for collective action and unity among women to demand equal representation and decision-making power.
Using Technology to Fight Gender-Based Violence:
Dr. Carter acknowledged the power of technology in addressing gender-based violence. She mentioned a recent initiative launched by the SAHRC in the province, which aims to bring the discussion of utilising technology and digital platforms to combat gender-based violence. She believes that technology can provide innovative solutions, such as serving protection orders through WhatsApp, and ensuring the safety of vulnerable women without exposing them to further harm.
Engaging the Community:
Carter has encouraged individuals to engage with the SAHRC through various channels, including social media platforms and local municipalities. She emphasised the importance of collective efforts in addressing gender inequality and invited the public to join the ongoing discussions and initiatives.
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