Klerksdorp, 15 June, 2020 / 8:00 pm (ACI Africa).
Catholic Church leaders in Southern Africa are calling for a change of approach in tackling the increasing cases of gender-based violence (GBV), proposing an “aggressive and holistic approach” that brings together various stakeholders in the way COVID-19 is being fought against.
“We are calling for a process of rethinking the approach to gender-based violence and femicide, drawing parallels from the response to the Covid-19 pandemic that witnessed the involvement of government departments, business sector, civil society and ordinary citizens in their efforts to flatten the infection curve,” members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) have stated through their Commission of Justice and Peace.
They have explained in their Monday, June 15 statement, “Our call for an aggressive and holistic approach is guided by the fact that the government identified gender-based violence as one of the most defining public health, social and human rights issues that confront and affect the country today.”
The Bishops invite everyone from the government departments, business sector, civil society, media and ordinary South Africans to join forces and continue to play their part as they have in the fight against COVID -19.
“We must all work with the government to ensure a safer society for women and children,” the Bishops say in their statement signed by the Chairman of the Justice and Peace Commission, Bishop Victor Phalana.