by Vicci Tallis and Tracy Jean-Pierre
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified women’s multiple vulnerabilities. The economy has reportedly lost about 3 million jobs since the start of the lockdown. Two-thirds of these jobs belonged to women. Women make up the majority of those employed in the informal sector, the sector hardest hit by the pandemic. Informal workers have no job security, do not enjoy the protection of labour legislation, and cannot access credit. For women, this entrenches economic dependency on men – one of the
factors that keeps them trapped in abusive relationships. NS, South Africa, Self-Care Course, 2/12/2020
Across the continent, feminist organisations, small informal collectives, and individual feminists drive the response to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the absence of adequate state responses providing the support and resources that victims/survivors require. SGBV is endemic in many countries in Africa, reflecting and upholding patriarchy. According to the World Health Organization, 36,6% of women in the Sub-Saharan African region have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV). Feminist organisations have become more and more vocal, taking to the streets (in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya, among others) and challenging state responses. In South Africa, for example, the government has responded to sustained activism from women’s rights organisations with a strategy that ticks all the boxes on paper (including support, access to justice, and prevention elements) but needs huge resources to be properly implemented. Needless to say, although the money has been earmarked, it has never been fully disbursed.
Read the full article below or download HEREFA-_Volume-3-Issue-1_The-Struggle-Is-Real-Fighting-Sexual-and-GenderBased-Violence-and-Femicide-Pandemic-in-the-Time-of-COVID-19