South African men should take responsibility to end the current spate of violence against women in the country, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.
Ramaphosa said this when he launched the annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children themed, “Enough is Enough: 365 days to end Gender-Based Violence and Femicide”, at the Witpoort Police Station outside Lephalale Town in the northern Limpopo Province.
According to the president, all forms of gander-based violence (GBV) must be condemned by all men because GBV has no room in South African society.
"This campaign will complement a wider 365 days, year-round education awareness and prevention campaign which the government will roll out in partnership with civil society,” the president said.
Calling on men to lead the fight against gender-based violence, he added: "I will say it again: violence against women is not a problem of women. It is a problem of us – men. Let it be clear that women cannot be faulted in all this."
“Our message to those who abuse women has been abundantly clear: there is no space in our society for you," Ramaphosa said.
The president is on record as saying that the country’s existing laws on bail and sentencing were being reviewed to ensure that those facing GBV charges were not easily granted bail or given light sentences after trial.
“To ensure that those found guilty of gender-based violence receive punishment proportionate to their crimes, we are in the process of reforming existing laws around bail and sentences.
“This is in response to the demand that is made by women of our country who complain that those who are arrested for GBV are often given bail very easily and those who are sentenced are given light sentences. And we agree with them that there should be no bail or light sentences for people like that.”