President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged African countries to ensure the protection of women and girls against gender-based violence (GBV).
He said there must be accountability against those who are involved in the violation of women and girls.
There have been protocols in Africa to protect women and girls against violence and sexual abuse and these must be implemented.
Ramaphosa said women empowerment policies must be passed in Africa in order to allow them to participate in the economy and other sectors.
Ramaphosa was on Tuesday addressing the African Union men’s conference in Pretoria where he spoke about getting more men to fight the scourge of GBV in Africa.
Already there were initiatives that have been undertaken in South Africa and Ramaphosa recently met with young men in Soweto where they spoke about initiatives to fight the scourge.
Ramaphosa was also in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, over the weekend where he participated in a campaign with young men to help in the fight against GBV.
In his address to the conference on Tuesday, he said there is a huge role that communities and states can play in this regard.
“There must be renewed support for the AU Commission in ensuring the Maputo Protocol Scorecard and Index for the realisation of women’s rights is popularised and implemented.
“As we move ahead in negotiating an African Convention on Ending Violence against Women and Girls, we must ensure there is accountability through monitoring and evaluating progress in meeting the commitments of the Kinshasa Declaration.
“Lastly, we have to address structural inequality by broadening women’s access to resources, jobs and opportunities, all the while introducing laws, policies and programmes that advance women’s economic empowerment,” said Ramaphosa.
He said men can be involved in tackling the problem of violence and sexual abuse against women because they are the perpetrators.
They want to get many men involved in programmes and dialogues where these issues are discussed.
Women and girls have a right to live in any country without fearing for their lives.