Gender-based violence (GBV) is the most extreme expression of unequal gen- der relations in society. It is first and foremost a violation of human rights, and a global health issue that cuts across boundaries of economic wealth, culture, religion, age, and sexual orientation. While GBV is disproportionally affect- ing women and girls, it also affects men and boys.

Women and girls all around the world have experienced increased levels of violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. In South Africa, during the early stages of the lockdown, which started in March, survivors of domestic abuse began seeking refuge in shelters that house women and children left displaced after fleeing from violence where they lived.

A Government programme committed to intensify and accelerate efforts to achieve the elimination of all forms of violence against women and children. This prompted the South African Government to investigate the root and underlying causes of Gender Based Violence, and develop a national action plan that will ensure a stronger, collaborative and more focused response to violence against women and children.

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[Picture Credit Daily Maverick]