A group of women and men, including victims of gender base violence in Mmakau village near Brits, in the North West, are calling on government to harshly deal with the perpetrators of gender- based violence (GBV).
The group wants to raise awareness around the abuse and killing of women and children. Their campaign also targets young boys from the age of 12, with the hope of sensitising them about women abuse.
They say gender-based violence awareness should become part of everyday life.
Mothers in the area say they sometimes have no choice but to leave their children alone at home when they go to work but this has become very dangerous as perpetrators take advantage of them.
They have called on men to stop abuse of the most vulnerable members of society.
“We are pledging and we are pleading with our male counterparts, we are saying if we did you wrong then we apologise, and whatever upbringing that our parents or our forefathers did wrong we apologise for them too, we are also human beings, so all we are saying and pleading is stop killing us.”
One of the victims of gender based violence who attended the awareness campaign says she still lives in fear every day. She requested that her identity not be revealed.
“The abuse was so bad, I don’t even want to see men around me, In the beginning, the guy was so loving, caring, supportive but when was angry you can’t even look at him.”
Event organiser Kelebogile Sekgothe, says government should do more to end crimes against women and children. She says violence against women and children impacts on every aspect of life in the country and they felt compelled to take action when one of the woman in their community was killed.
“The reason that pushed for this event to occur, is that we feel as youth we are enough. It is time that we take a stand, Mothutlong, Mmakau, Ga-Rankuwa must unite and become one thing.”
Activists call on President Ramaphosa to declare GBV a national crisis:
‘South Africa is not truly free as long as women, children live in fear of violence’
President Cyril Ramaphosa says gender-based violence (GBV) is not part of South Africa’s traditions, customs or heritage.
He was speaking during his 2020 Heritage Day virtual keynote address. The President also called on society to continue fighting against gender-based violence (GBV), amid public outrage over a recent string of crimes against women and children.
“So long as this country’s women and children live in fear of violence, we cannot regard ourselves as totally free. So long as women are being harassed, abused, beaten, raped and murdered, we cannot say we are a civilised society. Abusing women is not our tradition, nor is it our custom, it is not and will never be our heritage. Throughout the history of our continent women have built and shaped our society. We must put an end to this terrible shame that is tainting the image of our country,” says Ramaphosa.
He also commended those seeking traditional medicinal techniques to help find a cure to the coronavirus (COVID-19), this as the world races to find a vaccine against the virus.