Church rises to fight gender based violence

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Minister for Women, Susan Shabangu, says the church, together with families, schools, friends and the media has a critical role to play in transforming our society.

The Minister on Tuesday attended the media launch of the Rhema Ministries’ Campaign against Violence to Women and Children in Fourways, Johannesburg. 

“It is mainly from agents of socialisation that identities and ideas about what it means to be a man or a woman in society are formed,” said Minister Shabangu. 

She said peaceful, affirming and loving homes teach girls and boys what it means to be good people. On the other hand, she said, homes where violence is rife breed violent people. 

Minister Shabangu said it is important for religious institutions to join the struggle against gendered violence. She said her department will continue to support campaigns that seek to eradicate violence of all forms. 

“Our success depends on sustained and strong efforts from other institutions such as churches and their role in socialising and constructing social beings. Gender-based violence is a complex matter that cannot be solved by government alone. 

“It is because of these complexities that we extend our support not just to church formations, but to all corners of our society. These include civil society organisations, the private sector, community-based organisations, friendship circles, academic institutions and even individuals who are not affiliated with any institution. 

“When we form strong alliances between government and agents of socialisation, we are likely to succeed in changing minds. Already, there are many men in many organisations and as individuals, who are taking up the call and marching forward to say ‘not in my name’.” 

Government has set up the 24-hour Gender Based Violence Command Centre, which can be reached toll free on 0800 428 428 or *120*7867#. Sexual Offences Courts have also been and continue to be re-established to deal with sex crimes. –