Launch of 16 Days of Activism 2020
Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane launched the annual “campaign 16 days of activism” which aims to put a spotlight on gender-based violence.
The campaign runs from November 25 to December 16 and is usually packed with events focused on GBV issues.
Working towards the inclusion and economic emancipation of women is key to dealing with some of the socio-economic constraints keeping women in toxic and abusive relationships.
It was for this reason that the government themed this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign under the slogan; Women’s economic justice for a non-violent and non-sexist South Africa.
Nkoana-Mashabane launched the campaign along with ministers who form part of an inter-ministerial committee on gender-based violence and femicide.
Nkoana describes GBV and femicide as the second pandemic.
“Our women and children continue to live in a state of fear. Our focus with 16 Days of no Violence against Women and Children Campaign should be to continue to end all forms of violence,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
She said the theme focuses on the importance of women’s economic empowerment as an integral component effort to eradicate gender-based violence and femicide and build a non-sexist SA.
Nkoana also added that focusing on economic emancipation was important as recent statistics revealed that half of the women died at the hands of those who claimed to love them.
She said she believed one of the main reasons was due to the disproportionate inequality gap between men and women in the country.
During the lockdown, the country saw an increase in incidents of domestic abuse. GBV was referred to the second pandemic as there were more incidents.
Police Minister Bheki Cele said statistics show that SAPS has been improving on reacting to gender-based violence cases, but he said more work needs to be done on prevention. He said in some instances police reacted only after the victim had died.
Cele also said they have put together resources to fight GBV.
“We are putting more resources into the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit as part of our effort to improve their work. We are training people,” said Cele.
Many believe that much still needs to be done for people to learn about GBV.
Sakhile Zulu, PhD student at TUT said a much needs to be done for man to change his behaviour.
“A campaign alone is not enough to fight this pandemic, new teachings and ways need to be made for men to learn”, said Zulu.
Mpilo Zulu, a DUT student, said this campaign is a good thing for South Africans because the number of GBV cases are up.