'Ireland Committed to Stamp Out Gender-Based Violence' - Ambassador Gormley
News07 December 2023
Ambassador Austin Gormley says the global campaign led by UN Women and themed 'Unite! Activism to end violence against women and girls' "resonates deeply, as Ireland has long been committed to this cause."
Speaking at the 16 Days Of Activism campaign launch of Embassy-partner SCAT (Social Change Asistance Trust) in Cape Town, Mr Gormley stressed that violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights and tackling this scourge is of paramount importance.
"So this really is a global struggle which requires us to work together – to Unite – so that our efforts can have the most impact. That means working at grass roots level but crucially also bringing those experiences, from the front lines of this fight, to national attention and into the rooms where policy is made and budgets are allocated."
Acnowledging that the causes of GBV are complex, Mr Gormley said making a difference required a coordinated approach, and is why Ireland continues to support the development of South Africa’s National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide and the implementation of that Plan through partnerships with the South African Government and civil society. Ambassador Gormley emphasised that women in rural communities must not slip off the radar.
"We must remember that rural and marginalised women often face unique challenges and it is our responsibility to ensure that they are not forgotten in the fight against gender- based violence. We are proud to collaborate with exceptional partners like SCAT, whose work in this field is truly commendable."
SCAT, who has 38-years experience working with rural comunities is thus a logical choice as a partner to help make tangible differences in the lives of women and girls in South Africa, Ambassador Gormley said, adding that "we need to work together to change mindsets, to ensure measures are in place for accountability and that different stakeholders have the capacity to respond appropriately to GBV."
"Today’s event aims to help to identify actionable solutions. By joining hands, exchanging knowledge, and learning from each other’s experiences, we believe that we can help to create a society that respects and protects the rights of all women and girls."