Mthethwa commits to stop violence against women, children

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pretoria - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has warned that his ministry will come down harshly on the perpetrators of violence against women and children.

"We will hunt those heartless criminals with vigour and determination until we find them, this is our commitment," Mthethwa said on Monday, ahead of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign, which kicks-off on Wednesday.

Mthethwa said his ministry will support and re-affirm government's commitment of protecting women and children, not only for 16 days but beyond the campaign.

"Government has an obligation to protect women and children, this is an obligation entrusted to the police and I'm certain that each and every member of our force is committed too," Mthethwa said.

He added that his department was pleased that campaigns such as the 16 days of Activism provided a useful platform not only as a reminder of the task ahead but equally as a call to action to the police to double their efforts in fighting crime against women and children.

Deputy Minister of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, Yunus Carrim, said his department had made a commitment not to limit its programmes that seeks to end women and child abuse to just the 16 days, but to develop long term and sustainable programmes designed to make a difference.

"In the past decade, evidence has shown that violence against women is a significant constraint to development and governments, the United Nations and a wide range of civil society organisations now recognise violence against women as a violation of basic human rights," Carrim said.

He noted that the problem was not the lack of practical ways to deal with gender-based violence, but a lack of change of a large and deep enough scale to bring about a transformation in the way societies conceive and organise men's and women's roles, responsibilities and control over resources.

"No single intervention will eliminate violence against women and children, but rather a combination of infrastructure, legal judicial, law enforcement, education, health and other service-related actions can significantly reduce such violence and negative consequences," he said.

Programme Manager of the Olive Leaf Foundation, Molelekwa Molefe, said during the campaign the organisation will be holding a mini men summit in Alexander, Durban, Umthatha and Port Elizabeth to hear from men what are the reasons behind the ongoing violence against women and children, despite the campaigns taking place annually.

The Olive Leaf Foundation is a South African based Sustainable Development Organisation which extends a helping hand to people struggling to make a better life in South Africa.

They conduct workshops in schools and men's dialogues among other things that arises awareness of violence against women and children.