“I pledge not to commit violence and to act when I see violence against women and children. I pledge to teach those in my care the values of human dignity, equality and respect.”
This is an excerpt from the pledge by South African men who will participate in the #100MenMarch that will take place in Tshwane on Tuesday, 10 July.
Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) launched the #100MenMarch on Thursday evening, calling on men to take a stand against women and children abuse.
The march, which is being coordinated by the GCIS forms part of the centenary celebrations of former President Nelson Mandela and struggle stalwart Mama Albertina Sisulu, who both committed their lives to the fight for human rights, particularly for women and children.
The march celebrates their lives and seeks to raise awareness on the scourge of violence against women and children.
Speaking at the launch, GCIS Acting Director-General Phumla Williams said while government has done a lot to address violence against women and children -- including the establishment of Thuthuzela Care Centres, improved police stations and increased arrests and sentencing -- this is not enough.
According to Statistics South Africa, the country has seen a 117% increase in cases of gender-based violence between 2015 and 2016/17.
“That’s enough to scare all of us. The question is ‘what are we doing and what has been done, and should be done to address the problem?” Williams said.
The #100MenMarch, said Williams, is not a once-off event but a complete approach and intervention that government hopes will go a long way.
“The intention of the pledge is to encourage any peace loving men to come out and say ‘I want to be counted. I will commit to making the country safer for women and children’,” Williams said.
Breaking the culture of silence
Well known actor Mpumi Mpama said the #100MenMarch is an important initiative that will help men to be part of the solution of stopping violence against women and children.
“The march is very important because… women and children are being abused in every possible way. We need men to stand up, take their place and protect women and children,” Mpama told SAnews.
Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee said the rate of violence in the country is alarming. He urged men to stand up and say no to violence against women and children.
“We have to support women and children, and we have to make sure that we bring an end to violence. Let’s do it for Madiba and Mama Sisulu, and let’s make sure that we make our voices heard,” said Abramjee.
The march will start at 10am from Church Square and end at the southern lawns of the Union Buildings. – SAnews.gov.za