Patricia de Lille says all South Africans must ensure the safety of women in communities

Public works minister Patricia de Lille says South Africans must not claim that the government is useless in dealing with gender-based violence, as citizens, too, have a role to play.
Public works minister Patricia de Lille says South Africans must not claim that the government is useless in dealing with gender-based violence, as citizens, too, have a role to play.
Image: Lerato Maduna/Gallo Images

Public works minister Patricia de Lille says SA needs to become a society where the lives of women and their safety are not threatened.

She raised these concerns on Tuesday during a debate among members of the National Assembly, where they spoke about femicide and gender-based violence. The debate was part of the 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children campaign.

De Lille said while statistics and numbers were helpful in tracking the severity of gender-based violence, stern action must be taken by both the government and communities to ensure the safety of the vulnerable.

“Statistics are important, we can repeat them, but we need to build a SA where our women feel safe in their homes and churches. Our message is that pain is not normal. If you have pain, you must walk away from an abusive relationship and go to a women's shelter.”

De Lille said South Africans must not claim that the government is useless in dealing with gender-based violence, as citizens, too, have a role to play.

“If we claim that this government is useless in dealing with gender-based violence, then why do we leave GBV to government? We all have a responsibility, we need to see action.”


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