What Are the Causes of Gender-based Violence in South Africa

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a pervasive issue in many parts of the world, including South Africa. It is a form of violence that is rooted in gender inequality and is perpetrated based on socially constructed gender roles and expectations. It is a major public health and human rights concern, and it is essential to recognize the causes of GBV in order to effectively tackle it. This article will explore the causes of GBV in South Africa.

Causes of Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence is caused by a range of factors, including cultural norms and practices, the unequal distribution of power between men and women, and the lack of access to resources and services.

Cultural norms and practices play a major role in the perpetuation of GBV. In many parts of South Africa, there is a widespread acceptance of gender-based violence, which is perpetuated through traditional gender roles and expectations. These traditional roles are often reinforced through media and popular culture, creating an environment in which violence against women and girls is seen as normal and accepted.

The unequal distribution of power between men and women is also a major contributing factor to gender-based violence. In South Africa, men are often seen as the head of the household and are expected to have control over women and girls. This unequal power dynamic can lead to a sense of entitlement and a belief that men have the right to control women and girls, which can manifest in the form of physical, sexual, and psychological violence.

Finally, the lack of access to resources and services can also contribute to gender-based violence. In South Africa, women and girls often lack access to education, healthcare, and other essential services, which can make them more vulnerable to violence. Additionally, there is often a lack of support services for survivors of GBV, which can make it difficult for them to seek help and get the support they need.

South Africa’s Context

Gender-based violence is a major problem in South Africa. According to the South African Police Service, there were over 55,000 reported cases of gender-based violence in 2020 alone, and experts estimate that these figures are just the tip of the iceberg. This is a reflection of the deep-rooted gender inequality that exists in the country, which is a major contributing factor to the prevalence of GBV.

South Africa has taken steps to address gender-based violence, including the adoption of the Domestic Violence Act in 1998 and the introduction of the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre in 2020. However, more needs to be done to address