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25.11.2019 South Africa

S.Africa's Ramaphosa urges men to ditch 'sexist' attitudes to end femicide

By AFP
A string of brutal murders has sparked an outcry in South Africa, where many people had become inured to rape and violence against women.  By Rajesh JANTILAL (AFP)
NOV 25, 2019 SOUTH AFRICA
A string of brutal murders has sparked an outcry in South Africa, where many people had become inured to rape and violence against women. By Rajesh JANTILAL (AFP)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday launched a campaign to curb femicide and attacks against women, urging men to change their "sexist and patriarchal attitudes".

The mindset is fuelling gender violence in South Africa, which already has the reputation of being one of the world's most dangerous places for females, he said.

"At the root of gender-based violence are sexist and patriarchal attitudes," Ramaphosa said launching an annual 16-day anti-violence campaign in the northern province of Limpopo.

"We have truly had enough."

"Our message to those who abuse women has been abundantly clear: there is no place in our society for you," said Ramaphosa.

Statistics show that one female in South Africa is killed every three hours and each day 137 sexual offences are committed.

The past few months have seen a swelling outcry against gender violence, sparked by a string of shocking murders.

Ramaphosa lambasted the scourge as "a great shame on our nation".

He vowed to crack down on perpetrators after "femicide" protests flared across the country in September, setting aside 1.6 billion rand ($108 million/98 million euros) for a six-month emergency plan.

The plan is meant to improve access to justice for survivors, carry out prevention campaigns to change attitudes and behaviour, and create economic opportunities for women who are vulnerable to abuse.

Government is opening more specialised Sexual Offences Courts across the country to expedite trials and police stations are being equipped with more rape evidence collection kits.

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