PRETORIA, President Jacob Zuma has launched the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign at the Nelson Mandela University, Missionvale Campus, in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape.

The theme for 2017 is, “Count me in: together moving a non-violent South Africa forward”. 2017 being the Year of OR Tambo, the Sub-theme is: “OR Tambo and the emancipation of women”.

According to the Presidency, this year marks the 19th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign in South Africa.

“The 16 Days of Activism Campaign focuses on raising awareness of the negative impact of violence on women and children, as well as on society as a whole.

“It is also focused on seeking prevention interventions to the on-going violence perpetrated on women and children,” the Presidency said.

Meanwhile, in Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga, Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane together with the Film and Publication Board (FPB) will also lead a 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign.

While the campaign involves various government clusters, such as safety and security, health and social development, it is headed by the Ministry of Women.

On Tuesday, the Minister for Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu announced various initiatives undertaken by government to curb gender based violence. She announced the decision taken by the Men’s Parliament to host sittings every two years at national level that seek to encourage men to engage on their role in violence against women and children.

Shabangu also highlighted the roll-out of a crime response app called Namola. It allows users an opportunity to share their GPS co-ordinates, name and nature of the emergency with a 24/7 response call centre.

The Minister said while government champions the fight against violence of women and children, it could only be eradicated if government joined hand with the private sector and civil society.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children is an international awareness-raising campaign. It takes place every year from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). The period includes Universal Children’s Day and World AIDS Day.

South Africa adopted the campaign in 1998 as one of the intervention strategies towards creating a society free of violence. The campaign continues to raise awareness amongst South Africans about the negative impact of violence against women and children (VAW&C) on all members of the community.

At the launch of the 16 Days Campaign on 25 of November 2014, President Jacob Zuma said that activism against gender-based violence should be a year-long campaign and not limited to 16 days. The Department of Women heeded the President’s call and launched the “365 Days for No Violence against Women and Children” (#365Days campaign) and #CountMeIn.

Shabangu called on victims to report these crimes and seek assistance.


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