Press Statement dated 9 August 2018

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has called on government, the private sector and society at large to embrace equality between women and men, mainstream gender issues in all state policies and workplace programs; and to stop gender based violence directed at women and children as a priority this National Women’s Month.

“For its part FEDUSA shall promote and drive an all-out campaign to ensure that a well- balanced gender perspective is factored into all social dialogue platforms particularly in collective bargaining, climate change and social protection policies, in the fight against gender based violence and shall also actively campaign for the national adoption of the International Labour Organization’s Recommendation on Ending Violence and Harassment in the World of Work,” said FEDUSA Vice President for Gender and Social Justice Dorothy Ndhlovu.

“Promoting gender equality and advancement of women requires an integrated approach which shall include capacity building, advocacy, campaigns and women’s empowerment in all its facets. The inclusion of men and youth in the gender equality agenda is also a strategic intervention that will accelerate transformation of gender relations. The union federation also wants to see an annual national audit of gender mainstreaming before each National Women’s Month”.

Ndhlovu added that the union federation is also deeply concerned about Gender Based (GBV) Violence as it has become such a profound and widespread problem in South Africa that is was now negatively impacting on almost every aspects of life.

“GBV which disproportionately affects women and girls is systemic, and deeply entrenched in institutions, cultures and traditions in South Africa. Although accurate statistics are difficult to obtain for many reasons, including the fact that most incidents of gender based violence are not reported, it is evident that South Africa has a particularly high rate of gender based violence including violence against women and girls and violence against LGBT people,” said Ndhlovu.

“Broadly speaking, approaches to addressing gender based violence can be divided into response and prevention. Response services aim to support and help survivors of violence in a variety of ways, for instance medical help, psychological support and shelter. Prevention initiatives look at how gender based violence can be prevented from happening. Response services can in turn contribute towards preventing violence from occurring or reoccurring”.

Addressing gender based violence is a complex issue requiring multi-faceted responses and commitment from all stakeholders, including government, civil society and other citizens. There is growing recognition in South Africa of the magnitude and impact of gender based violence and of the need to strengthen the response across sectors, concluded Ndhlovu.

Issued by Martle Keyter, Deputy President, federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa)