Murder of women and girls, in acts of femicide, is the most extreme form of gender-based violence (GBV). With South Africa being known for having one of the highest rates of femicide in the world, hardly a day passes without another case highlighted in the media. The Gender & Health Research Unit (GHRU) of the South African Medical Research Council has been studying femicide in South Africa for more than 20 years, with previous research showing that in 1999 four women, and in 2009 three women were killed every day by their husband or boyfriend (intimate partner).
This evidence brief summarises the findings of the third National Femicide Study, which examined women murdered in 2017 and compares these findings with those of the 1999 and 2009 studies. In so doing, it seeks to address the key question: Is there any evidence that the national efforts to combat GBV in South Africa are having any impact on the problem of femicide?