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SA government should support UN resolutions now

- Centre for Applied Legal Studies

Civil society calls on government to support resolutions currently before the UN Human Rights Council to address violence against women and end child marriage.

Three important resolutions to address violence and discrimination against women and girls have been tabled at the 35th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. One focuses on the elimination of discrimination against women and girls, another on accelerating efforts to eliminate violence against women by engaging men and boys in preventing and responding to violence against all women and girls, and the other on child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian settings.

All three resolutions contain language that is in line with commitments laid out in South Africa’s Constitution. All three call on UN member states, including South Africa, to take action to address multiple and intersecting forms of violence against women and girls.

Despite South Africa’s ongoing crises of violence against women and girls, and despite now familiar reassurances from senior government officials that addressing and preventing violence against women is a national priority, South Africa chose not to join the nearly sixty countries which co- sponsored these resolutions when they were tabled last Thursday at the Human Rights Council.

To date, the South African government has still not indicated whether it will co-sponsor or support these resolutions when they go before the Human Rights Council this Thursday and Friday. Our government has also not provided a rationale for its inaction.

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