GBV is not unfortunate, it’s a national disgrace

It is no surprise that Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is leading the United Nations (UN) campaign against gender-based violence (GBV) making it an international issue. South Africans know this shameful scourge only too well, especially as the onset of the Covid-19 crisis has led to an upsurge.

Shameful attacks of the weak, the old, the young and the vulnerable, are too often brushed under the carpet, too often dismissed by investigating police officers, too often forgiven by the victims themselves, or by their neighbours.

Its causes may be complex, combatting it difficult, but the effects of GBV are pervasive, no least in the workplace where its effects are subtle and easily misread.

 Awareness of the scourge at all levels of society is the best way of fighting it. That is why the Chamber whole-heartedly welcomes the 16-day public campaign against gender-based violence. The South African workplace is where 11 million people meet every day. It’s a solid section of society and a good place to spread the word that real men don’t prey on the week and that those who do deserve nothing but contempt.

We must all do our bit to change public perceptions of gender-based violence. It is not a domestic issue best kept in the family. Its scope and pernicious influence on society makes it a national disgrace.