‘16 days activism’ needed every day
WITH 16 Days of Activism approaching it is worth noting that citizen activism on issues of gender-based violence are not limited to a few weeks in November/December.
Ongoing acts of violence against women and children in the country have seen South Africans take to the streets to protest against the daily violence. The latest crime statistics put into stark relief the extent of gender-based violence.
The number of reported rapes rose 3.9% to 41 583 in the year and this was the highest in four years.
As many as 443 387 rapes have been reported to the police over the past decade but this figure will not reveal the number of cases that went unreported. A total of 2 771 women were murdered from February 2018 to March 2019.
In September, thousands of people took to the streets and disrupted South Africa’s hosting of a World Economic Forum summit in protest against the killing of 19-year-old university student, Uyinene Mrwetyana.
Speaking to the protesters outside the summit, President Cyril Ramaphosa promised more funding to protect women and harsher penalties for gender-based crimes.
Fighting this scourge will need all sectors of society but it must start with police taking all crimes against women and children seriously.