The IFP Women’s Brigade (IFPWB) acknowledges and welcomes the launch of the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Femicide Response Fund by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the private sector.
This government / private partnership project, which is a result of the Women’s Summit held in 2018, couldn’t have come at a better time. Government and the corporate sector have contributed approximately R21 billion to the programme. Corporate donations to the Fund include R30 million from Anglo American, R10 million from Absa, R20.2 million from the Ford Foundation, and R500 000 from Sanlam. We hope that these figures will translate into the transformation and betterment of the lives of women and children affected by GBVF in all corners of South Africa, from Vhembe in Limpopo, to Nquthu in KwaZulu-Natal.
South African women continue to face challenges and adversity, and even more so during the Covid-19 pandemic. Recent statistics have revealed that the coronavirus-related-retrenchments, and the subsequent joblessness, have affected many women. This creates number of challenges, including psychological challenges, which could lead to mental fatigue and breakdown. With families and breadwinners losing their livelihoods, men have also been found to vent their stress and anger on women and children. In trying times like these, it is often the women who are compelled to make ends meets for their families.
We hope this initiative will provide much-needed relief for socio-economic and health issues, especially for rural women and girls, who have very limited access to resources.
The IFPWB is optimistic that this project will make a huge difference if it is rolled-out wisely, and we are more than willing to be active participants in this programme. In the same breath, we are mindful of the possibility of these funds ending up in the pockets of fat-cats, and will monitor the rollout to ensure accountability.
The IFP sees this project as providing a glimmer of hope to the thousands of women who single-handedly manage households, and form the cornerstone of South Africa as a whole.
We would like to urge more companies, individuals and other institutions to come forward with donations and resources, and contribute towards this progressive intervention against the scourge of GBVF.
IFP Women Brigade Chairperson
Hon. Phumzile Buthelezi
073 216 0918