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21 July 2020 | Story Nitha Ramnath | Photo istock

Date: 28 July 2020
Time: 14:00 – 15:30

Gender inequalities domestic violence and gender-based violence (GBV) are global concerns, and have been exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19 as women take on more child and care work responsibilities.  Jobs lost in service sectors often affect women most, large numbers of frontline health workers and teachers are women, and lockdowns increase domestic violence. Thus President Cyril Ramaphosa recently said in a televised address that more than 21 women and children have been murdered in South Africa within just a few weeks in what he referred to as “another pandemic raging in our country.” He said this “violence being unleashed on women and children with a brutality that defies comprehension, is no less than a war being waged against the women and children of our country”.

As the World Economic Forum points out, regardless of where one looks, it is women who bear most of the responsibility for holding societies together, be it at home, in health care, at school, or in caring for the elderly. In many countries, women perform these tasks without pay. 

Now, the Covid-19 pandemic is compounding existing gender inequalities, and increasing risks of gender-based violence. Gender inequality, layered along with the effects of the pandemic, lockdowns and the economic downturn, could leave a deep and lasting impact on the lives and opportunities of women and girls.

Given, then, that the COVID-19 crisis affects women and girls in different ways from men and boys, measures to resolve it must take gender into account, and the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls prioritized. 
To take up these issues of gender inequalities and gender-based violence, two renowned gender research experts will take part in our webinar. The webinar will be chaired by Professor Melanie Walker of the University of the Free State.  The presenters are: Professor Pumla Gqola, Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Nelson Mandela University and author of Rape: A South African Nightmare. Lisa Vetten has worked in the field of violence against women for over two decades as a counsellor, para-legal, trainer and researcher. She is currently an honorary research associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WiSER).

Join us from 14:00 to 15:30 on 28 July. 

RSVP to Sibongile Mlotya at no later than 26 July, upon which you will receive a Business for Skype meeting invite.

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