South African president signs bill to combat gender-based violence

JOHANNESBURG, May 24 (Xinhua) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday signed the National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Bill into law in Pretoria, the country's administrative capital, in a bid to combat gender-based violence.

Corruption and gender-based violence are two scourges that plague South Africa and corrode the country's social fabric, Ramaphosa said at the signing ceremony. "These forms of criminality are holding our country back and preventing us from realizing our full potential."

"We want to put an end, once and for all, to the violence that men perpetrate against women," Ramaphosa added.

The legislation would pave the way for the establishment of a National Council on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, which is expected to play a crucial role in coordinating strategic leadership in the fight against violence and drawing on the expertise of all stakeholders, including civil society, labor, and business, according to the president.

To eradicate violence against women and children, South Africa needs a national effort that is more inclusive, more focused and better resourced, Ramaphosa said, adding as part of the government-business partnership, efforts are underway to create a Digital Evidence Unit specializing in the identification, collection, analysis, and presentation of digital evidence on violence crime.

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