Government is committed to create a safer, equal and violence-free South Africa for all women and children.
Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, announced during the Departmental event to mark the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, held on Wednesday at Batho Pele House in Pretoria.
At the event also attended by Public Service and Administration Minister, Mr Senzo Mchunu Ms Chikunga said a violence-free South Africa for all women needs a zero tolerance approach to end gender-based violence supported by everyone in the country.
“As government, we are committed to end violence perpetrated against women and children, however, we need partnership between government, the private sector, civic organisations, faith-based organisations to fight against domestic violence, forced marriages, and all forms sexual harassment.
“In your area, tell young boys and everyone there that young girls are equally human beings,” she said adding that rape was the worst experience by women.
The Deputy Minister also used the platform to announce that they will never tolerate sex pests to solicit sexual favours from young girls in return for getting them jobs in the public service space.
“Public servants, who think that in order for young girls to get a job in government, the young girls must first sleep with them, should know that in the public service space, we cannot tolerate that.
“We are saying to all women in the public service; do not be afraid to report all forms of sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace.
“Remember, nothing good comes out of violence against women and children,” she said.
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign is a United Nations campaign, which takes place annually from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day).
The other key commemorative days during this period include World Aids Day on December 1 and the International Day for Persons with Disabilities, on 3 December.
This year’s 16 Days campaign will be observed under the theme “Women’s Economic Justice for a Non-Violent and Non-Sexist South Africa”.
The official commemoration of 16 Days of Activism Campaign 2020 commenced across the nation by the raising of the South African Flag to half-mast.
The 16 Days campaign seeks to strengthen the implementation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide by all social partners, and to expand on the call to action for men as partners and boys to stand against the rape and sexual abuse of women and children.
It also seeks to increase awareness and drive change in relation to negative social norms and behaviour through multiple platforms, sectors and activism including technology, social media, culture and customs, the arts, journalism, faith-based organisations, the private sector, trade unions, the sports fraternity, the taxi industry, traditional leaders and the youth sector.
The NSP on GBVF was approved by Cabinet in March 2020 and is based on the following six pillars: Accountability, Leadership and Coordination
· Prevention and Restoration of Social Fabric
· Protection, Safety and Justice,
· Response, Care, Support and Healing
· Economic Empowerment
· Research and Information systems