16 July 2018
In the year of Albertina Sisulu and Nelson Mandela, while we are still in mourning of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, it is a shame that women and children continue to live in a state of emergency. A life merely rotating on who buries the other, who nurses the others wounds, who mourns the others' innocence, and who won't make it home in the evening every day.
Violence against women and children is a symbol of a movement with unfinished work. It is subjugation of the foulest type because it is brought against us by our own people, by loved ones and friends, in our private spaces, by our comrades and by society in general. We as the Young Women's Desk perceive this to be a threat not only against women and children but against freedom itself. Freedom meant to everyone in this country but no longer enjoyed by women.
Having seen reports by Statistics SA which state that cases of femicide have increased by 117%, we find that the governments response, or lack thereof is completely unacceptable. We reiterate that violence against women and children and gender-based violence are not women's issues, these are issues and the responsibility of society as a whole.
These are issues for the private and public sector, for the religious and secular society, for the political and apolitical. To delegate these issues to women every August and during November and December as part of the 16 Days of Activism is a misunderstanding of the entire liberation struggle, which is inclusive of the total emancipation of women.
Further, we find it unacceptable that those who present themselves as allies and supporters of the struggle continue to harbour perpetrators of violence against women and children within their midst. The corruption of society begins here, in the times that we are silent or begin to tolerate those who undermine the safety and security of all those call our own.
On the 1st of August the Young Women's Desk along with the women across the country will be taking a stance against Gender Based Violence to address this threat to our freedom. As per the wishes of the organizers of the #TotalShutdown march, the Young Women's Desk will be marching separately due to the disallowance of our participation in paraphernalia. It is important to state and reiterate that our participation as the Young Women's Desk seeks to reinforce the voices of all South African women affected by GBV and chooses to do so in their partisan identity. Our efforts should be fixated on the struggle against Gender Based Violence which a possible reality for every woman regardless of their partisan identity.
Details of each provincial march are to follow during the week.
ANCWL Secretary General
Sarah Mokwebo +27 731373505
Karabo Mohale +27 839927185