Government has reiterated its call for South Africans to play their part in raising awareness around the rights of women to their families and friends.
Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said on Thursday - as the country reaches the midway point of International 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children - focused media attention continues to shock the nation with horrific incidents of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).
“Let us also acknowledge that gender-based violence and femicide is a societal problem – the violence on women and children continues unabated despite the efforts of government and civil society. As President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated in his address at the official opening of 16 Days of Activism, GBV affects all of us, and so none of us can be impartial or indifferent.
“Every South African must commit to a year-round awareness campaign and constantly be vigilant, to report abusers. We want the whole country to say, ‘Enough is Enough – 365 Days to End Gender-Based Violence and Femicide’,” said Nkoana-Mashabane.
The Minister said partnerships must happen to fast-track implementation.
The 16 Days of Activism Campaign, which started on 25 November, closes on 10 December 2019. This year’s campaign is observed under the theme “Enough is enough – 365 days to end Gender-Based Violence and Femicide”.
The 365 days refers to South Africa’s commitment to a year-round campaign to eradicate GBVF, through constant activism.
The Minister encouraged all men to sign the National Pledge which calls on South African men to become actively involved in ending all forms of violence.
“It is not only about being a good man, father, husband and co-worker. It goes beyond that to men not allowing violence in all its forms to take place.
“Men can do this by calling out other men who insult, denigrate, abuse, or treat women like objects. Men need to be active players in activist efforts to end GBVF,” the Minister said.
How to play your part
Government has encouraged South Africans to:
- Increase awareness and visibility: Incorporate GBVF key messages in all speeches, discussions, addresses;
- Utilise GBVF Posters in your spaces;
- Display the GBVF National Pledge in all public spaces, like places of work, worship, shopping centres, events, schools etc, and encourage men to sign;
- Partner with government, business, media houses, private sector in hosting GBVF events and heighten communications around GBVF;
- Leverage on other mega events such as sporting events, national days, themed days, conferences etc. to spread messages on ending GBVF;
- Host lectures, debates and discussions on GVBF on topics such as eradicating patriarchal attitudes;
- Host leaners competitions on equality, justice and human dignity;
- Host engagements with men and boys to encourage positive masculinity;
- Utilise your social media platforms to condemn any form of GBVF;
- Report any act or sign of gender-based violence;
- Join www.for-women.co.za – a hub for survivors and victims who need help and corporates who can offer help.
Find the National Pledge and resources at www.women.gov.za (Media Room – 16 Days of Activism) – SAnews.gov.za