The South African government officially launched its 2018 16 Days of Activism campaign in Mthonjaneni, KwaZulu-Natal, on Sunday under the theme: #HearMeToo: End Violence against Women and Children!
Minister in the Presidency for Women and Children Bathabile Dlamini was the keynote speaker at the event, which the government says is another leg of the #356Days of Activism Campaign and #CountMeIn, which aims to mobilise the public - and especially men - to join hands with government in the fight to curb gender-based violence.
The launch was marred by reports that Dlamini had barred eNCA from covering the event. According to the media house, the minister's communications team told them that she would only speak to the SABC "because they know the parameters".
Dlamini's ban follows on the heels of EFF leader Julius Malema barring the Sunday Times from covering any of his events.
The aim of the government's campaign this year is to:
* Attract all South Africans to be active participants in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children, hence the theme: Count me in.
* Expand accountability beyond the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster to include all government clusters and provinces.
* Combine technology, social media, the arts, journalism, religion, culture and customs, business and activism to draw attention to the many ways violence against women and children affects the lives of all people in all communities around the world.
* Ensure mass mobilisation of all communities to promote collective responsibility in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children.
* Encourage society to acknowledge that violence against women and children is NOT a government or criminal justice system problem, but a societal problem, and that failure to view it as such results in all efforts failing to eradicate this scourge in our communities.
* Emphasise the fact that the solution to gender-based violence lies with each member of society.