South Africa: SA Progressive On Gender Issues - HRW. 13/1/2017

Published by ALLAFRICA

While South Africa
came in for much criticism in Human Rights Watch's latest world report,
its progressive approach to gender issues was welcomed.

"South Africa has a
progressive Constitution that prohibits discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation and protects the human rights of lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people," the organisation said in its
World Report 2017.

The annual review of human rights issues around the globe was released in Washington on Thursday.

It lauded the
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for taking
"significant steps" to improve co-ordination between government and
civil society in their efforts to combat violence, including rape and
murder, against lesbians and transgender men.

Home Affairs
Minister Malusi Gigaba was praised for banning homophobic US pastor
Steven Anderson and members of his church from entering South Africa in
September last year.

"They were banned from entering the country because they promote hate speech and advocate social violence."

Regarding women's
rights and violence against women, Human Rights Watch said rape and
domestic violence remained widespread and under-reported.


Although the
police's annual crime statistics showed that sexual offences decreased
slightly, by 3%, many gender activists and human rights groups were
concerned about the government's failure to introduce a national
strategy to combat violence against women.