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City puts gender-based violence in the spotlight Print E-mail
29 November 2017

City of Joburg, Sonke Gender Justice and Soul City spoke in one voice to stop gender base violence in the workplace and in our society at large.

This follows robust discussions at the 16 Days of Activism breakfast meeting held by the City of Johannesburg’s Group Corporate and Shared Services; Employment Equity and Transformation Office, on Tuesday 28 November 2017.

The breakfast was to mark the 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children. This is an international awareness campaign, which takes place every year from 25 November to 10 December. This campaign was adopted in 1998 as one of the intervention strategies towards creating a society free of violence.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Group Corporate and Shared Services in the City of Joburg, Cllr Ntombi Khumalo, said it was ironic that the City embarks on this campaign exactly four months after the Women’s Month celebration in August.

“Every other day during the past few months and years, events such as today’s have been held in different places across our country, where South Africans were in unison in their condemnation of the oppression and abuse of Women and Children as it manifests itself in various forms. These include gender violence such as murder, rape and assault; gender discrimination such as unequal pay for the same amount of work, disempowerment of women by excluding them from positions of authority; and condemning women to a life of poverty by not affording them enough opportunities in the running of the economy,” said MMC Khumalo.

“Regrettably the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children, means we are not winning the war against violence on women and children. We only focus on high profile cases during the campaign. Every year we revisit the emancipation of women only for the 16 Days of activism, despite the fact that women suffer the abuse throughout the year."

“The plight of women must be on the national agenda, everyday throughout the year,” concluded MMC Khumalo, who called on women to report cases of violence and abuse in the workplace through the Employment Equity and Transformation Office.

According to Sihle Nkosi, who was programme director for the day, “It takes a village to build a family. Nowadays, we pass by when we see a woman being beaten up and bruised. This is because the abuse we see at work comes from home.”

Talking from his personal experience, Thabiso Mathibedi from Soul City said: “If we are to successfully fight gender-based violence, we must start at home. If a woman doesn’t feel safe at home, she won’t feel safe anywhere. The abuse of women at the workplace doesn’t necessarily get reported because in most instances it is done by their supervisors who are men.”

Mathibedi told the gathering that his father used to beat up his mother to a pulp in front of him and his siblings, but that did not make him to follow his father’s footsteps. “Men and women are equal. The only difference is our reproductive system – women can give birth and men can’t,” said Mathibedi.


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Last Updated on 29 November 2017