Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has called for a lasting solution to ensure equal opportunity for jobs and education that will ensure that women are economically independent of men.
She described women’s dependency on men as “an often exacerbating factor”.
The Minister made the remarks while delivering a keynote address to the Men’s Parliament in the National Council of Provinces on Monday.
In her address, Dlamini Zuma characterised the Men’s Parliament as a collective quest to institutionalise men’s commitment to repair the moral fibre of South African society.
“We are witnesses to an unprecedented surge of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF). A harrowing picture is painted by crime statistics. In the second quarter of 2022, 875 women were murdered, and there were 13 000 reported cases of domestic abuse and 9 500 cases of rape,” she said.
The Minister said the statistics illustrated the fact that women and children were not safe in the country.
“This is an indictment on the moral standing of our nation and a departure from ubuntu,” she said.
She further explained that “in time immemorial, nations placed so much value on the protection of women and children, even in times of wars they would not be harmed.” She added, “I urge men to be agents of change and active partners against this scourge”.
Dlamini Zuma then went on to mention various research that has investigated the reasons why men behave with such violence towards women. These investigations suggested that one reason might be that men struggle to fulfil their socially mandated role of provider and protector. This leaves them feeling inadequate and they then resort to aggression to release their feelings of inadequacy.
Other research has suggested that highly unequal societies, such as South Africa, experience higher rates of gender-based violence. The gendering of roles and the societal pressure for men to be masculine perpetuates the cycle of gender violence.