The month of November has been set aside as the time in which government and all other role players would like to raise awareness of gender based violence and violence against children.
However, we should make every effort to extend this programme to become a programme that will last for 365 days, in a year. Because children get abused every day, women get raped and murdered every day, we must realise the vision of “365 days of action”.
Exposure to violence in childhood has been shown to have profound and lasting effects on children's overall development, with often debilitating and chronic effects that extent well into adulthood. Violence against boys and girls can lead to far-reaching physical and psychological consequences, some with fatal outcomes,
Children who have been sexually abused in their childhood are more likely to engage in risky behavior such as early sexual intercourse, and are at risk for STI acquisition and among girls, unwanted pregnances.In May 2006, at a conference held in Benoni, a resolution was taken to deepen and strengthen our activisim to end gender based violence and to extend the 16 Days of activisim to 365 DAYS of action.
This approach was informed by the evidence that efforts to reduce levels of gender based violence are more likely to succeed if they are collaborative, inter-sectoral and involve a range of stakeholders including government, civil society and business. This is because gender based violence is a societal problem and it therefore requires wide-ranging societal response.
This is why Premier Hazel Jenkins, together with her Cabinet, saw it necessary to convene a meeting with all the retail owners and managers in Kimberley on the 20 OCTOBER 2011, to lobby for their involvement in this year's programme against child and women abuse.
The respone of the business community was absolutely overwhelming and commendable. One manager responded by saying, “we are over-joyed that government has called us to join hands in this type of programme, because it is an issue that affectes all of us in society”. All of the business people committed to make a contribution of what-ever kind to ensure the success of this programme, from wearing white ribbons, to displaying the LOGO of the campaign in their shops and to conducting in-house workshops on the gender based violence, these are all activities that will form part of the programme.
A joint task team of government and business will be arranging this programme, and civil society is invited to get involved.Let us stand together in fighting the abuse of children and violence against women!
ISSUED BY: Monwabisi Nkompela
Head of Communications
Office of the Premier: 053 – 8382928/ 8382784