MEC responsible for Transport, Safety and Liaison in the Province – Lebogang Mothlaping on Thursday 6 December, led a march protesting the scourge of gender based violence during his 16 Days of Activism activities. South Africans have marked the period of 25 November – 10 December as a period to observe the scourge of violence against the most vulnerable peoples in society.
The campaign seeks to heighten awareness on the negative impact of violence faced by women and children and encourages a permanent stand against all forms of abuse. The MEC says that that the call to end violence against women and children is a global call that advocates for people to speak up and take a stand against all forms abuse.
“I feel the higher hand of calling reaching out to me and, I believe, everyone here to see how we are destroying ourselves and to make it stop. On days like today the realities of violence and its impact on the most vulnerable in our communities is made all the more clear and all the more real because we are forced to take time out to grapple with our apparent unrelenting need to hurt each other,” Mothlaping implored.
The march called on all members of society to unite against the scourge of abuse facing women and children in our communities. The MEC cited that maleness in society had become drenched in deepened insecurities and the only way for men to express themselves was through violence.
“Behind the curtain that divides the kitchen from the bedroom we make our women slaves to our aggression and we beat them into submission with our weapons. When we feel like they have not learned their lesson we beat our daughters and even our sons into submission, my point is we make the weak pay for all the places we cannot assert ourselves in. It is a sick reality that we make our families suffer for our failings as men and fathers. This needs to stop. We walk around with a lordship borne from the happenstance of us being male and, rather than protecting those entrusted to us, we use it as guns and knives.”
The MEC added that violent and abusive behaviour was learned, and young children would be susceptible to acts of violence. “We embed such legacies of terror in the faces and hearts of our children they move out into the world carrying it with them, multiplying it. We create societies where we do not value or respect life.”
Mothlaping further urged men to be more solid role models for the sake of their children. He added that the only way Gender Based Violence and Child Abuse could be eradicated in our societies was if men took a long hard look in the mirror. “Start your legacy building in your own homes by raising sons and daughters who respect each other and are not threatened by the contribution each of the sexes can make in the realisation of a society characterised by harmony, integrity and unity. Men – take a long, hard look at yourself and, upon finding that you are either instigating or condoning violence in any form, call yourself back to order and follow your sacred task of protecting your people.”
Violence Against Women and Children affects us all and let us heed the call to stand united against all forms of abuse and ensure our women and children have safe environments to live and thrive in.