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Forget Covid-19, Gender-Based Violence is a Greater Threat To Us

The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed many societal issues that were previously hidden, ignored or underreported. The Southern African Rural Women’s Association has noted with increasing anger and disgust, the rise in instances of gender-based violence and society’s apathy to this perpetual problem – a pandemic in its own right. While statistics across the Southern African region show a drop in crime during the lockdown, there has been an explosion of GBV cases as women and girls ended up trapped in close confines with their abusers.


Legislative frameworks and judicial processes – the lax approach of law enforcement and the slow grinding gears of justice systems constantly fail to address or eradicate the issue, especially since many members of law enforcement view GBV as a “household issue” that is not to be interfered with, and all the while women and especially rural women, remain at the mercy of their tormentors.