As a nation, we must walk the talk in stopping violence against women! South Africa’s rates of female homicide, rape as well as childhood and domestic violence are far above those of other countries.
The problem of violence affects everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity, age and religion and undermines our nation’s economic and social development.
Paying lip service to the campaign of 16 Days of Activism on No Violence Against Women, which runs from 25 November to 10 December, is not enough. If you or your company is serious in helping to end the curse of violence in our country, follow this countdown programme and show your commitment.
Day 1: Wednesday, 25 November
Support the campaign by wearing the white ribbon from today for the next 16 days. A white ribbon is a symbol of peace and symbolises the commitment of the wearer to never commit or condone violence against women and children.
Day 2: Thursday, 26 November
Schedule a date to participate in the various 16 Days of Activism events and activities as advertised in the media.
Day 3: Friday, 27 November
Visit the UN Women Network at http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women to find out more about women abuse.
Day 4: Saturday, 28 November
Volunteer in support of NGOs and community groups who support abused women and children. Volunteer your time by helping to plant a garden at a shelter, sponsor plastic tables and chairs for children at a clinic or join an organisation as a counsellor. Use your skills and knowledge to help the victims of abuse.
Day 5: Sunday, 29 November
Join the CyberDialogues initiative: CyberDialogues facilitate online discussions among people about issues related to the abuse of women and children. For more information, go to www.genderlinks.org.za.
Day 6: Monday, 30 November
Donate to an organisation such as the Foundation for Human Rights that works to end violence against women and children (www.fhr.org.za)
Day 7: Tuesday, 1 December (World Aids Day)
Read up on women and Aids in South Africa at http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2015/06/29/SAs-women-most-at-risk-of-getting-HIV and visit the Aids Foundation of South Africa to find out how you can help (http://www.aids.org.za/how-to-help).
Day 8: Wednesday, 2 December
Speak out against woman and child abuse: Encourage silent female victims to challenge abuse. Support and believe victims of violence against women. We can all make a difference by not re-victimising women with our denial and judgment.
Day 9: Thursday, 3 December
Read up on how the 16 Days of No Violence originated. Go to www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/news/vawd.html
Day 10: Friday, 4 December
Help raise awareness about the issue. Talk about the issue to your family members, friends and colleagues. In our communities, let us launch education and publicity campaigns to promote a zero-tolerance policy on violence and discrimination against women.
Day 11: Saturday, 5 December
Join community policing forums (CPFs) or community safety forums (CSFs). For more information on how to join, contact your local police station.
Day 12: Sunday, 6 December
See the acclaimed Afrikaans film with English sub-titles Dis ek, Anna, based on the two top selling novels by Anchien Troskie (writing as Elbie Lotter) called Dis ek, Anna (It’s me, Anna) and Die Staat teen Anna Bruwer (The State vs Anna Bruwer). The story, set in modern day South Africa, is about Anna Bruwer who avenges the years of abuse suffered at the hand of her stepfather and the court case that ensues.
Day 13: Monday, 7 December
Advocate for laws and policies that protect victims.
Day 14: Tuesday, 8 December
Reflect and act. Change begins at home and we need to examine our own behaviours and experiences to learn if they are helping to end violence or helping to continue it.
Day 15: Wednesday, 9 December
Serve as a mentor or role model. Role models set examples for those around them of positive behaviour and attitudes toward women and girls.
Day 16: Thursday, 10 December (International Human Rights Day)
Focus on peace today.
Revised by M Collins