By Nomvuyo Sebeko
Gender-based violence is very common in our country. This year alone we have seen a lot of women being killed by their partners. We have also experienced the shocking revelation of children being killed for their body parts and some for rituals.
As a nation we have a long way to go in making sure that we do away with the gender-based violence. We need more than just a 16 Day campaign to fight this demon called gender-based violence. As a nation we need to have 365 Days of Activism against gender-based violence. We also need law enforcement that will follow procedures and protect all those who need protection.
With all that said we asked Activators what they will be doing during the 16 Days of Activism campaign and here’s what they had to say #Activate16Days.
Mzwakhe Ziqubu KZN 2013
“As young people of Sedibeng District we saw the need to stand up against gender-based violence. We have experienced a lot of abuse in our community and people no longer see abuse as a problem but as societal norms. Our mission is that everyday 24/7 is Activism day; because everyone should be safe and free. We will be hosting a dialogue which will be creating awareness and making people be part of the campaign. In our engagements we will also invite other stakeholders and community leaders like the police and church leaders to spread the gospel even after the event. We would also invite our local radio station and newspaper so that community members who missed the event can hear all about it.”
Eunice Ngwenya Gauteng 2015
“I am young person who grew up in a small community called ka-Bhokweni in Mpumalanga. I am currently volunteering at a care centre as a centre manager. Our focus is sexual abuse, emotional abuse and gender equality. We have started a programme called, Breaking the Silences against Women and Children and Gender abuse. The programme helps victims speak up and tell their stories so that they can get help and justice. We are hoping for the community leaders to be involved in our programmes so that they can help us get justice for the victims. Since we have started the Break the Silence programme, we have seen a large number of victims joining us and telling their stories. What we have planned for this coming 16 days of Activism campaign is to start another programme called Teen’s Group where we teach young people how to notice the signs of abuse and how they can protect themselves. We want this programme to grow big and be a programme that helps young people fight gender-based violence and abuse as a whole. We are hoping for all the change we can get in our community, we know that if we fight this as a family (community) we will win. We only need one step at a time then we will get there.”
As much as we support the 16 Days of Activism campaign, we need to ask questions about the outcomes of the campaign. We need to know how it is helping us as the nation to fight the growing number of abuse in the country. We as young people need to know why even after the Government introduced the campaign we still experience the killings of young woman and children in our communities, if the campaign is not working for us as a nation we need to find an alternative.