16 Days campaign an ‘eye opener’

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pretoria – As the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children draws to an end today, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu, says the campaign has created much needed awareness in communities.

Speaking at The New Age business briefing in Sandton this morning, Minister Shabangu said the campaign should take place throughout the year to contribute to reducing violence directed at women and children.

She also called on more men to actively get involved in the campaign.

The Minister further expressed concern that gender based violence was becoming more brutal.

“Even children are being killed so brutally. Something has gone wrong in our communities. All of us need to get involved in fighting abuse,” she said.

Minister Shabungu said children need to be taught at a young age to denounce violence. “We have to reach out to our communities and create awareness about the fight against the abuse of women and children.”

She said women in rural areas must be empowered to know their rights.

“Women in rural areas must be brought on board and be part of the campaign. We must make sure that we break the silence. People should be encouraged to talk to prevent heinous crimes from happening.”

With regard to the prosecution of perpetrators of violence against women and children, Minister Shabangu said role players in the justice system must deal effectively with issues relating to violence and the abuse of women and children.

“Our justice system must make sure that our people believe in the system,” she said.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children is an international campaign observed from 25 November to 10 December to raise awareness of the negative impact that violence has on women.

The campaign aims to provide a platform to engage all stakeholders across race, gender, age and other divides to commit to collectively fight this scourge in society and to relook at the available strategies to end violence against women and children.

This year’s campaign was held under the theme “Count Me In. Together moving a non-violent South Africa forward”.

This year the campaign marked its 16th anniversary of raising gender based violence, reflecting on 20 years of democracy and 60 years of the Women’s Charter. – SAnews.gov.za