Darian Smith, Gil Harper, Cookie Edwards, Ryan Silvan and Sylvia Danster of the Faith Action to EndGBV at the by Faith Action to End GBV - a collective of faith based organisations andindividuals who are running a 120 Day Campaign around the theme of #faithingenderjustice. Picture: Illa Thompson.
Darian Smith, Gil Harper, Cookie Edwards, Ryan Silvan and Sylvia Danster of the Faith Action to EndGBV at the by Faith Action to End GBV - a collective of faith based organisations andindividuals who are running a 120 Day Campaign around the theme of #faithingenderjustice. Picture: Illa Thompson.

Civil organisations say ‘collaborative effort needed’ during 16 days of Activism

By Thobani Dlamini Time of article published Nov 25, 2021

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DURBAN - CIVL organisations have called for a collaborative effort in this year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign against women and children abuse.

The acting director for Childline KwaZulu-Natal, Adeshini Naicker, said the trends in the abuse of women and children had not changed, which required all stakeholders to work together in the fight against the scourge.

“South African women and children continue to go through life living in fear of domestic, sexual and intimate partner violence on a daily basis, there has been no change. This year’s campaign needs to be a collaborative effort that includes input from different sectors but, most importantly, from communities.

“Organisations such as ourselves and other departments cannot stop the scourge. We need every citizen to sit up, look and act.

“The justice system needs to be more efficient and streamlined. Long court processes and delays in DNA analysis often create gaps where perpetrators roam the streets for years,” said Naicker.

Masimbulele Buso of the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation criticised the slowness in implementation of programmes the government promised in the wake of student Uyinene Mrwetyana’s death in 2019.

“Following a total shutdown and a mass outcry demanding justice and action, a bold R21 billion plan, aimed at eradicating Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) was approved and a national council on GBVF – to oversee the implementation of this plan – was to be formulated within six months. Twenty months later, we are still waiting,” said Buso.

Mrwetyana was raped and killed in a post office at Claremont, Cape Town. Her death sparked outrage nationwide.

Buso said the foundation would stop at nothing to make sure that gender-based violence was not a footnote, but part of the public agenda.

“To keep the pressure on policymakers, ensure actual accountability and the implementation of the National Council on GBVF – and to prevent lip-service, we have partnered with long-time gender term GBV advocates 1st for Women Insurance,” said Buso.

Recently, Police Minister Bheki Cele announced the second quarter of the 2021 crime statistics, and revealed that there was an increase of more than 7% in cases involving women and children.

“In the period of 1 July 1 to 30 September, 897 women were murdered (7.7% increase), 287 children were murdered (31.7% increase) and rape increased by 7.1%,” said Cele.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson for the Department of Social Development in KwaZulu-Natal, Mhlaba Memela, said that there were various strategies the department had devised in response to gender-based violence in the province.

“We have made provision of shelters for abused women and children. Currently, there are 23 shelters and 29 White Door Centres of Hope provincially to accommodate victims of gender-based violence and femicide.

“The department also established two shelters for men who are victims of trafficking and other forms of abuse in eThekwini and uMgungundlovu districts. We have also expanded psycho-social services in eight Thuthuzela Care Centres spread across six districts,” said Mhlaba.

Further to this, he said more than 180 social workers were appointed to render counselling support to victims in crisis centres, and a provision of social workers was made to 92 police stations across the province.

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign will run from November 25 to December 10.

Daily News

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