16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children – More Can Be Done [press release]

I today facilitated a roundtable discussion, in association with various stakeholders, which highlighted major challenges that hinder meaningful confrontation of violence against women and children in South Africa.

As the 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children campaign draws to a close, the results of the discussion highlighted the following challenges regarding the matter:

The Department of Women in the Presidency needs to prioritise a National Strategic Plan that will see a holistic approach to eradicate this social ill through engaging victims, community leaders and activist groups to the problem through appropriate legislation.

Funding from government is simply not sufficient to affect meaningful change. Civil society is currently burdened with having to support this cause with limited funds.

There is an urgent need to launch an education and awareness programme aimed at deconstructing the historical legacy of patriarchal culture entrenched in our communities, which is highly problematic.

The media needs to support this cause to eradicate and condemn this sort of violence through sending messages that highlight the negative effects that violence against women and children has on developing a progressive and empowered nation.

It is particularly concerning that women and children are oppressed by a system that continues to entrench deeply patriarchal values that take away from their human rights, especially as we celebrate 20 years of democracy in South Africa.

I will write to Minister Susan Shabangu to highlight the outcomes of our roundtable discussion.

We hope that the cause to protect women and children from violence will be moved from the periphery to the centre. If we are truly a democratic country that respects the rights of all, then we need to implement the right policies to empower South African women.

Source : Democratic Alliance