South Africa is often dubbed the 'rape capital' of the world.
Every 17 seconds a woman is raped in South Africa, and it is estimated that a woman born in the country has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read. There are an estimated 500,000 rapes a year in South Africa, and the country has some of the highest incidences of child and baby rape in the world.
Studies have found one in three South African women say they were raped in the past year. Other surveys have found more than a quarter of South African men admit to raping someone. Those figures go up in South African cities, and the overall situation is getting worse, not better.
Thankfully, on March 14 the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development agreed to sustained, long term engagement on the intersecting issues of gender-based violence, anti-LGBTI violence and hate crimes.
We welcome this engagement, and call on South Africa's Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Development to keep their promises, and incorporate the concerns and criticisms of civil society.
We will continue to monitor the progress of these negotiations, and look forward to a productive, cooperative working relationship with the Ministry around these issues.