By Thandi Vivian Tobias, Brand South Africa’s Chairperson of the Board
As we come to the end of observing 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children, we spare a thought for all those who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence. This has become a pandemic in our country, with women dying daily at the hands of men. It is an issue that needs to be consistently addressed for 365 days of the year.
The annual commemoration stems from the United Nations campaign which takes place from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). The United Nations identifies violence against women as a problem that transcends racial, cultural, religious, geographical and economic borders. This year’s theme for 16 Days of Activism for no Violence Against Women and Children is Enough is Enough – 356 Days to End Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. Violence of any kind is unacceptable, especially violence towards unfortified segments of society like women and children.
We are all affected by the scourge that plagues our country, whether directly or indirectly and so; all South Africans have a responsibility to play their part and take a stand. Enough is enough.
In raising awareness on issues of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, we cannot turn a blind eye to the very violent and brutal war underway against the women of South Africa. Earlier this year at a joint sitting of parliament on the scourge of violence in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Regardless of where we stand across the political divide, each of us here recognises the reality that we are confronting a crisis of violence and intolerance. We have to act now before anger, hopelessness and despair engulfs our country.
Let us to come together to signify the magnitude of the challenge we face, and the importance that our Parliament should attach to it. Confronted with this daily, the women of our country are demanding that we should have a ‘state of emergency’ which may go a long way in enabling us to deal more effectively with the scourge.”
To echo the President’s sentiments, Brand South Africa pleads with communities across the country to continue to play their part by unwaveringly calling out and reporting abusers, supporting victims and educating community members. The President has also called for harsher sentences for perpetrators and this has been witnessed with the recent arrests and sentencing of Luyanda Botha and Nicholas Ninow to mention a few.
South Africa can no longer afford to be seen as one of the most violent and dangerous countries for women and children. This is against our values of Ubuntu. Our focus is on positioning the brand of South Africa to be seen in a positive light and incidents on gender based violence take away from this focus.
About Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.
About Play Your Part
Play Your Part is a nationwide programme created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing. A nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.
Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates and individuals, NGOs and government, churches and schools, from the young to the not-so-young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.
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