By Charndré Emma Kippie
Wear Orange With Pride
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is the annual international campaign which takes place between 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) and 10 December (Human Rights Day).
A key supporting organisation, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign), has called for global action to amplify awareness, solidify advocacy efforts, and disperse education information and news regarding innovations.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign. The global theme has been announced as ‘Orange the world: End violence against women now!’. Thus, South Africans have been encouraged to show their support by wearing orange during this period and raising awareness in their communities.
GBVF: It Stops Now!
This year’s global campaign theme will be mobilising all UNITE networks, civil society and women’s rights organisations, as well as the United Nations system.
In addition, the Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence, government partners, universities, the private sector, and individuals have also been called to:
- Advocate for inclusive, comprehensive and long-term strategies, programmes and resources to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls (VAWG) in public and private spaces – prioritising the most marginalised women and girls.
- Amplify the success stories demonstrating that VAWG is preventable by showcasing effective strategies and interventions to inspire all actors to scale up what works.
- Promote the leadership of women and girls in their diversity and their meaningful participation in policy making and decision making from global to local levels.
- Engage Generation Equality Forum commitment makers in your country or region to collaborate in the implementation of bold new commitments and to inspire further action to deliver progress on the Gender-Based Violence Action Coalition Blueprint.
The Minister in the Presidency, Hon. Mondli Gungubele, addressed the media regarding the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, 3 November 2021. Minister Gungubele commented that the United Nations campaign would in fact assist in heightening awareness of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) in the country.
Speaking on the sentencing of rapists and those who enact GBVF violations, Minister Gungubele exclaimed that there would be a strict “zero-tolerance approach against GBVF by the criminal justice system.”
Minister Gungubele called on all South Africans to remain vigilant and report all GBVF-related incidents to the police.
Citizens can also call the National GBVF Command Centre on 0800 428 428 or Stop Gender Violence Helpline on 0800 150 150/*120*7867#.
The main principles of UNiTE Campaign advocacy are:
- Honouring and acknowledging women’s mobility and their leadership in the 16 Days of Activism, and in preventing and ending violence against women and girls.
- Leaving No One Behind by taking a human rights-based approach and focusing attention on the most underserved and disadvantaged groups of women and girls who are experiencing intersecting forms of harm in efforts to prevent and end violence against women and girls.
- Adopting a survivor-centred approach by empowering survivors, letting their stories be heard and advocating for their rights.
- Everyone in society has an important role to play in ending violence against women and girls and we all must work together across sectors to address the various aspects of violence against women and girls.
- Fostering critical examination of gender roles, regimes and practices, while seeking to create or strengthen equitable gender norms and dynamics for fundamental, lasting changes for women and girls.
- Elevating the voices of young feminists by creating platforms to elevate voices of the next generation of feminists who are shaping their future now.
How South African Citizens Can Play Their Part
- Reject and report abusers. Do not turn a blind eye.
- Sign the Pledge Against Gender-Based Violence.
- Challenge and denounce cultural practices that perpetuate gender inequalities.
- Be sensitive and supportive to GBV victims by sharing helpful information and supporting causes near you.
- Seek personal help to change harmful behaviors such as alcohol and substance abuse.
- Teach children values of gender equality.
- Protect children from exposure to violence and harmful content on internet and social media, including pornography, sexual solicitation.
- Develop policies that prevent and deal with gender based violence in your sector, workplace and communities.
- Organise targeted community outreach and dialogues on solutions towards a gender equal society.
*For more, check out our bumper 16th edition of the Standard Bank Top Women Leaders publication on Issuu – Digital Publishing Platform – here.
*Stay up to date with all the latest on Top Women in SA, by signing up to the Standard Bank Top Women newsletter – here.