Poverty, in­equal­ity con­trib­ute to vi­o­lence

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - No­luthando Motswai

Au­Gust hAs BeeN DeD­I­CAteD to rais­ing aware­ness of vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren and high­light­ing ways in which women can help move South Africa for­ward.

so­cio-eco­nomic cir­cum­stances con­trib­ute to vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren, the Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of the Depart­ment of Women, Jenny Schreiner, be­lieves.

She said that so­cial dis­tress is fu­elled by high lev­els of in­equal­ity and unem­ploy­ment, as well as the re­ces­sion and re­sult­ing lack of job se­cu­rity. “We put our fam­i­lies un­der enor­mous stress. When you are un­der stress, it comes out some­where. It is in­ex­cus­able, how­ever, that it comes out in the form of vi­o­lence.”

She added that South Africa has a so­cial se­cu­rity pol­icy that en­ables so­cial dis­tress to be mod­er­ated through the is­su­ing of so­cial grants.

Ac­cord­ing to Schreiner, a com­bi­na­tion of trig­gers com­pound so­cial stress. One of these is patriarchy, which is a sys­tem of so­ci­ety in which men hold the power and women are largely ex­cluded from it. Patriarchy con­trib­utes to the level of vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren.

Change starts at home

Schreiner said that her depart­ment helps mit­i­gate this vi­o­lence through ad­vo­cacy pro­grammes, in­clud­ing the Na­tional Di­a­logues ini­tia­tive, which raises aware­ness about vi­o­lence against women and chil­dren.

Schreiner said what the coun­try is faced with is a gen­der is­sue and not a women’s is­sue.

“We need men to be role mod­els and boy chil­dren to know that there are other solutions be­sides vi­o­lence against women. To change things, South Africa needs to start in the home.”

She said the cul­ture of fam­ily mem­bers keep­ing quiet when some­one is abused needs to stop. Faith-based or­gan­i­sa­tions and re­li­gious lead­ers must play a part in moral re­gen­er­a­tion.

“Vi­o­lence of any de­scrip­tion is morally wrong. Our Con­sti­tu­tion says we have a right to be safe.”

Women unite to move South Africa for­ward

This year’s Women’s Month theme is Women unite to move South Africa for­ward, which speaks to the core of women eman­ci­pa­tion.

Schreiner said it is crit­i­cal for women to or­gan­ise them­selves prop­erly to en­sure that they re­ceive what is due to them as stated in the Con­sti­tu­tion.

She said women of to­day have the abil­ity to move the coun­try for­ward, just like the more than 20 000 women of 1956 did, when they marched to the Union Build­ings in protest against the ex­ten­sion of pass laws to women.

The march against the pass laws was or­gan­ised by the Fed­er­a­tion of South African Women which fa­mously chal­lenged the idea that a woman’s place is in the kitchen.

The main 2017 Na­tional Women’s Day cel­e­bra­tion on 8 Au­gust was held in Galeshewe in the North­ern Cape, with an of­fi­cial ad­dress by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma.

Ac­cord­ing to Statis­tics South Africa, in 2011 the North­ern Cape had a pop­u­la­tion of 1 145 86,1, of which 50.69 per cent were fe­male and 49.31 per cent were men.

The Pro­vin­cial Growth and De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy fur­ther in­di­cates that the North­ern Cape faces chronic un­der­de­vel­op­ment with its so­cial, eco­nomic and cul­tural man­i­fes­ta­tions through poverty, unem­ploy­ment and ru­ral-ur­ban in­come in­equal­ity, which still con­tinue.

Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of the Depart­ment of Women, Jenny Schreiner.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.