The Womxn Show, funded by the Ford Foundation, looks at women’s issues with a focus on gender-based violence (GBV) and gender justice. South Africa has some of the most progressive legislation on gender violence in the world. Despite this, our femicide rate is five times the global average and the UN has described the rates of rape and violence as a war on women.

This year in particular has seen a rise in women’s movements across social media and the country, originally sparked by the disappearance and then murder of Meghan Cramer from Philippi in early August 2019 and more recently, the rape and murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana by a post office employee while collecting a package. These and the almost daily reports of assaults and murders, have fuelled calls for no bail and the death penalty.

The Womxn Show aims to draw on a large body of NGOs, activists, experts and stakeholders to give a deeper and more accurate view of the systemic issues that both drive gender-based violence and hamper effective prevention and responses to violence against women and children. The show will be hosted by journalist and GBV activist Lenina Rassool, who believes that part of the solution is making justice and court procedures more transparent so that victims, especially women, are better able to navigate the system.

“The show will focus less on the abuser and more on the justice system and mechanisms that exist to prevent and respond to different types of violence,” says Rassool. “I’ve found that people don’t know anything about the justice system until they have to engage with it. And when they do, ineffective service delivery and misinformation often provides secondary trauma to women who are already battling and broken from abuse.”

The Womxn Show, says Rassool, aims to make court processes and the justice system more transparent so that women are more aware of their rights, the correct procedures that should be followed and are empowered to hold stakeholders accountable when those processes are not followed.

Cape Town TV Station Manager Karen Thorne says that the show is a necessary addition to the station’s programming as the channel’s audience fall largely within marginalised communities who are most affected by gender violence and struggle to access the relevant information.

The show will air every Tuesday night at 8pm on CTV.

For more information, contact Lenina Rassool on lenina@capetowntv.org.