When President Cyril Ramaphosa called gender-based violence (GBV) the ‘second pandemic’ in South Africa, the simmering issue was finally acknowledged as a national crisis. However, for Vodacom, GBV has always been the ‘first pandemic’ and the company has not just spoken out about it during Women’s Month, or the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, but at every opportunity.
South Africa has one of the highest levels of intimate partner violence in the world, with as many as 51% of South African women experiencing such violence, according to the 2021 Human Rights Watch Report. And while it is gratifying that the issue is finally being taken seriously at a policy level with Vodacom playing a role in shifting the national discourse and trying to change behaviour there is much more that needs to be done.
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