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South Africa: Gender Council to Reach Out to Communities
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Friday, May 24, 2013
Focus: Information Access, Government Portal, Citizens’ Service Delivery, E-Government
Country: South Africa
Created: May 24, 2013

The council, which is under the leadership of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, was launched on 10 December 2012.
It will support victims and survivors of gender-based violence and address all forms of violence against women and children.
Xingwana said working together with the Ministers of Police, Justice and Correctional Services, the department will continue to support, promote, coordinate and monitor access to justice.
“This includes effective and efficient services to all victims, such as the Sexual Offences Courts; the Family Violence and Sexual Offences Units in the South African Police Services; the training of police and forensic social workers; restorative justice as well as effective rehabilitation of offenders.
“These pillars constitute the key element of our fight against gender-based violence,” Xingwana said.
Raising the status of women
Shifting focus to the 57th UN Commission on the Status of Women, Xingwana said that the department managed to stage a special parallel signing ceremony on 11 March 2013 at the UN Women Headquarters in New York.
The department registered South Africa’s commitment to the United Nations campaign, Commit to End Violence against Women and Girls.
Xingwana said that during the ceremony, led by Michelle Bachelet, the Under Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, South Africa was commended for its solo stance in Africa on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identities as well as on the matter of sexual and reproductive rights for women and girls.
“We were praised for our valiant efforts in ensuring that for the first time in the Commission, there were agreed conclusions on violence against women that were adopted in the session itself. Several concrete recommendations have emerged in the final outcome document, which we need to domesticate in the country as well as monitor the progress thereof.
“We were also congratulated for developing a multi-sectoral approach towards fighting gender-based violence by launching the National Council against Gender-Based Violence on International Human Rights Day last year, as well as launching the Orange Day campaign as part of our 365 Days National Action Plan,” Xingwana reported.
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