Plan of ac­tion for cam­paign against woman and child abuse

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - NOKUTHULA ZWANE

RE­LI­GIOUS and gov­ern­ment lead­ers are pre­par­ing for the launch of a na­tional cam­paign of vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren, timed to co­in­cide with Women’s Month that is fast ap­proach­ing.

At a me­dia brief­ing in Four­ways, the Na­tional Re­li­gious Lead­ers Coun­cil ini­ti­ated the cam­paign with the Rhema Fam­ily Churches In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of Chris­tian Churches, civil so­ci­ety groups Save SA and Sec­tion27, and the Min­istry of Women made a public pledge for the cause yes­ter­day.

Del­e­gates dis­cussed how the at­tacks on women and chil­dren in re­cent months had raised con­cern on how so­ci­ety re­acted to the abuse.

This fol­lowed the death of Karabo Mokoena, 3-year-old Court­ney Pi­eters and Them­bisile Yende, who were all mur­dered by men.

Rev Ray McCauley said the mur­der of Mokoena was a great shock and had left the coun­try out­raged.

“We also know that it’s not only Karabo… There are a lot of women and chil­dren in the ru­ral ar­eas and town­ships who do not get any me­dia cov­er­age, but are suf­fer­ing,” he added.

“The re­al­ity is that gen­der­based vi­o­lence is a crime of power, one that seeks to up­hold pa­tri­ar­chal laws and con­trol the fe­male body in the frame­work of his­tor­i­cal un­equal pow­ers,” he said.

McCauley quoted from a Statis­tics SA 2016 sur­vey that one in ev­ery five South African women over 18 had ex­pe­ri­enced phys­i­cal vi­o­lence, while one in ev­ery three young South Africans had ex­pe­ri­enced some form of sex­ual abuse.

Ac­cord­ing to McCauley, the plan of ac­tion for the na­tional cam­paign was for all South Africans to stand up against vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren.

“The launch of the cam­paign is strate­gi­cally planned for the week pre­ced­ing Women’s Month, as we thought it fit­ting not only to hon­our women, but also to stand up against their abuse,” said McCauley.

Among the del­e­gates were the Min­is­ter of Women in the Pres­i­dency Su­san Sha­bangu and So­cial De­vel­op­ment MEC Nandi May­athula-Khoza.

Sha­bangu said the gov­ern­ment fully sup­ported the cam­paign.

“It is a plea­sure to­day that we can sit here to­gether with the church to make a com­mit­ment to fight crimes against women and chil­dren.

“This takes us a step fur­ther to­wards en­sur­ing that the so­cial­i­sa­tion in our fam­i­lies, schools, friends and es­pe­cially the me­dia be­comes a crit­i­cal role in trans­form­ing our so­ci­ety,” said Sha­bangu.

Renowned busi­ness­woman Baset­sana Ku­malo also ex­pressed shock at the lev­els of at­tacks on the vul­ner­a­ble.

“The atroc­i­ties and vi­o­la­tions of our women and chil­dren have to end. When the head­lines have stopped we seem to for­get about a Karabo and many other women and chil­dren,” said Ku­malo.

Re­li­gious lead­ers and in­flu­en­tial mem­bers of civil so­ci­ety pledged their sup­port for the cam­paign to stop vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren.

Mark Hey­wood, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Sec­tion27, HIV ac­tivist and ra­dio per­son­al­ity Criselda Dudu­mashe, Gen­der Equal­ity Com­mis­sion rep­re­sen­ta­tive Javu Baloyi and Chief Rabbi War­ren Gold­stein of the Union of Or­tho­dox Sy­n­a­gogues all pledged their sup­port for the cam­paign.

The of­fi­cial launch takes place at the Rhema Bi­ble Church North on Sun­day.

Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and Premier David Makhura will pre­sent key­note ad­dresses at both ser­vices.


‘Gen­der-based vi­o­lence is a crime of power’

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