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The government has taken measures to tighten perceived “loopholes” in the country’s legislation against gender-based violence (GBV). The decision follows public calls to action after a series of murders and attacks on women and children over the past year. President Cyril Ramaphosa also acknowledged recent victims of GBV including Uyinene Mrwetyana, Leighandre Jegels, and Jesse Hess, and said in his weekly press release to the public: “Over the six months of its implementation, public spending in various government departments was reprioritised to support interventions for care and support for survivors, for awareness and prevention campaigns, to improve laws and policies, to promote the economic empowerment of women, and to strengthen the criminal justice system … The sad reality is that many survivors of gender-based violence have lost faith in the criminal justice system … These Bills, once finalised, will help to restore the confidence of our country’s women that the law is indeed there to protect them.”

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#AmINext protesters wearing black in support of the fight against gender-based violence take demonstrations to the gates of Parliament (file photo).