As custodians of culture, traditional leaders are ideally placed within communities to expose myths around patriarchy and notions of ownership over the bodies of women that continue to persist.
This is according to the Minister of Women Bathabile Dlamini, who on Thursday addressed a dialogue with traditional leaders.
The Minister said her department supports and encourages communities to continue practising their traditions with pride, as long as human rights are not violated.
“South Africa has in the recent years had increased incidences of gender based violence, mainly against women and girls. Government responded to the scourge of abuse, neglect and exploitation by establishing the Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Violence against Women and Children and launching campaigns to fight the scourge of gender-based violence,” Dlamini said.
She said it was critical for traditional leaders to work with government in ending gender based violence.
“We need to do so because women, young and old, rich and poor, famous and not so famous, experience abuse. Violence against women cuts across all races, including class groups,” Dlamini said.
The President in his 2019 State of the Nation Address responded to the call for the fight against gender-based violence with a commitment to increase the budget for gender equality and women’s empowerment.