Civil rights organisations and gender-based violence (GBV) activists have expressed relief as the National Assembly unanimously passed the “long overdue” National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill.
The Bill paves the way for the establishment of the National Council that will consist of a board of 13 members, who will be appointed with civil society participation to manage an approach to GBV and femicide that includes short, medium and long-term priorities that are aligned with various national frameworks.
The Bill also calls for the National Strategic Plan to be developed and implemented within six months of the National Council being established, with regular reports on the progress of its implementation to an inter-ministerial committee on GBV and femicide.
Thereafter, the plan must be reviewed every five years. The Bill will now be sent to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence.
Mosaic, an organisation which aims to empower women and girl survivors of domestic violence and abuse, says it’s about time that the Bill has finally been passed.
Advocate Tarisai Mchuchu-MacMillan, executive director of Mosaic, says: “We have to accelerate and gain enough ground to ensure the pandemic of GBVF is eradicated in the same way we managed Covid-19 and other crises.
“We believe that this enactment will enable us to achieve some of the goals.”