#100MenMarch makes its mark in Cape Town

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille has urged men to join the campaign against gender-based violence, as the #100MenMarch campaign reached Cape Town today.

Addressing attendants of the Cape Town leg of the march, which was initially held in Pretoria on Tuesday, De Lille said society could no longer sit idly in a world where society did not respect women.

“We need to continue this fight to rid our nation of this despicable occurrence. I challenge you individually to bring five other men to this march next year. These are men that you will work on over the next year to change their behaviour and attitudes in how they treat women and children,” the Mayor said.

It was crucial, she said, for mothers and fathers to raise their sons to respect women.

As government commemorates the 100th year of struggle icons, former President Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu, De Lille said it is important to remember the stalwarts’ role as custodians of children and women’s rights.

“Twenty-four years ago, right here in Parliament, our dear Tata Madiba delivered his State of the Nation Address, in which he said that ‘Freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression’,” she said.

She said South Africans needed to honestly ask themselves if women and children were free from all forms of abuse.

“Are we doing enough as a country to ensure that we emancipate the most vulnerable in our society from abuse? This calls for greater action from all sectors to stand together and put an end to this problem.

“For how long are we going to have to gather like this to speak on the same issue every year? How long till we see real action against perpetrators of this injustice? They are the same men who underestimate the power of women and the contribution we make to society. Women and children are supposed to be loved and cared for in the same way that women love and nurture their families,” she said.

She called on every citizen to ensure that women were freed from all forms of oppression at home and in the workplace.

De Lille saluted women who had gathered courage to leave abusive relationships.

“I want to urge other women to have the courage to say ‘enough is enough’, to reclaim their rights and leave those men who no longer care for you but want to hurt you. As families and friends of people who are in abusive relationships – we can no longer remain quiet for fear of a stigma that will be attached to a family.”

The City of Cape Town, as part of its efforts to contribute to the fight against women and children abuse, has embarked on campaigns against women and child abuse. Through the Mosaic training centre, the city has trained about 1 020 people as part of its campaigns.

“Your activism shouldn’t end here today. I appeal to you to continue protecting the vulnerable and working every day to ensure women and children’s rights are respected. You don’t need to be a woman to fight for women’s rights. You don’t have to be a member of the LGBTQI community to want gay, lesbian and transgender people to have equal rights.” – SAnews.gov.za

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