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STBB Newsflash | Anti-Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill Signed into Law

Earlier today, President Ramaphosa signed the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill (‘the Bill’) into law.

The Bill, which recognises gender-based violence and femicide (‘GBVF’) as a pressing ‘social evil’ compounded by decades of structural violence, aims to establish a legislative foundation to eliminate all forms of GBVF at the national, provincial, and local levels.

Underpinned by the constitutional rights to life, equality, bodily integrity, and human dignity, the landmark Bill provides for the establishment, functions, and composition of a National Council on GBVF (‘the Council’). The Bill designates the Council as a juristic entity and public body which will act through a Board comprised of inter alia representatives from civil society organisations and various government departments.

The Council’s chief objective is to provide ‘strategic leadership’ as part of a co-ordinated, multi-sectoral approach to eradicate the scourge of GBVF. To that end, it is empowered to monitor, evaluate, and advise the Minister of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities on progressive strategies, international developments, and action plans, establish partnerships with relevant stakeholders, and facilitate the prioritisation of anti-GBVF programmes.

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*At the time of writing, the Bill had not yet been gazetted and no commencement date was announced.

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