The most dangerous place for a woman to be in the Africa, is inside her own home. This is the conclusion that rises to the surface of the latest UN Global Study on Homicide: Gender-related Killing of Women and Girls 2018.
The Report found that women killed by intimate partners or family members account for 58% of all female homicide victims reported globally, and 69% of female homicide victims in Africa in 2017. (P10)
The findings show that even though men are the principal victims of homicide globally, women continue to bear the heaviest burden of lethal victimization as a result of gender stereotypes and inequality.(P11)
‘It has become a sad reality that violence against women is not only rife in public and outdoor spaces but indeed… in their private spaces, their homes and their relationships: the very places, both physical and emotional, where they ought to feel most protected and be safe, held Salie-Hlophe J inS v Nobade (CC16/2018)  ZAWCHC 76 (19 June 2019)at para 22.
Yvonne Wakefield, founder of The Warrior Project, a web-based portal providing victims of domestic abuse and gender-based violence with access to information and resources, says that one of the biggest problems is that the culture of secrecy leads to very low awareness of the problem, the rights of victims and the resources available to help them. ‘The first step,’ she says, ‘is to bring the topic out into the open, to have the conversations and to speak about our rights and what should be tolerated’.
Wakefield concedes that domestic abuse and violence is a multi-faceted and pervasive social problem which will take interventions at many levels to improve, but she maintains that providing basic access to information and encouraging the bravery to have conversations is an important first step.
The Warrior Project, launched timeously for Women’s Month, provides access to information and resources, including the police, a free legal helpline, counseling services and shelters. It was initially released to SweepSouth’s network of 100,000 domestic workers, and is now available free to the public.