Children’s challenges and femicide under spotlight

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The spotlight fell on the challenges faced by children as the world marked International Children’s Day on Friday. But locally, the growing issues of women abuse and femicide in South Africa also came into discussion.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete has condemned the gruesome killings of women and children in the country.

Mbete delivered the keynote address at a National Healing Prayer session in Alexander, north of Johannesburg.

She says all men and women in South Africa must come together and ensure that all forms of violence against women and children are rooted out.

“We must find a role, that from different angles we must fight this issue of gender-based violence. I think these prayers, we should take them all over the country because from different places, and for different reasons, people feel that there’s always a place for prayer.”

Child rights activists say whilst government has made progress in ensuring that children benefits from social grants, much needs still need to be done to improve access to education.

In South Africa, International Children’s Day also marks the end of child protection week.

According to statistics, South Africa’s child homicide rate is double the global average, nearly half of all child homicide cases are due to abuse and neglect.

School bullying, sexting and abuse were among the subjects discussed at a children’s parliament held in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature in Pietermaritzburg.

The provincial legislature hosted children from various high schools to talk about the issues affecting them.

KZN Legislature Chairperson of the Education Portfolio Committee, Linda Hlongwa Madlala, says they decided to invite the learners to participate, and voice their concerns. She says it was an event to remember for the children and legislators.

“It’s a cutting edge kind of event, because it allows learners themselves to come and architect their future. You know, each and every generation have a role to decide and determine their future as we celebrate the 100 years of Mandela and Sisulu. They were the generation at the time who decided how SA shall be like when they are gone. Now, we are celebrating the children’s day through the children parliament. They raised quite a number of issues from school side and community side. They understand exactly how their future should be.”

Meanwhile Minister of Women, Bathabile Dlamini says we need to step up out justice system and advocacy programmes. The Minister was speaking to SABC News at the close of Child Protection week.


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