Women’s Day: Intensify struggle against gender-based violence, says deputy minister

As South Africans look ahead to the 63rd anniversary of the march which gave life to what is today known as Women’s Day, the fight against gender-based violence must be intensified.

So says Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga.

On Friday, August 9, the government will commemorate Women’s Day, with the theme “25 Years of Democracy: Growing South Africa for Women’s Emancipation”.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to give a keynote address at the Vryburg Grounds, in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District, North West.

“As long as women and young girls are still raped and killed by the people they trust, the struggle for gender-based violence should be intensified,” said Chikunga.

Chikunga said the planned Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Council, announced by Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation Address, would an important step in the struggle.

She said young girls in rural areas were the most vulnerable and needed to be liberated from violence.

“This important council announced by the president will help us as a nation to search for the best ways of ensuring that vulnerable women and young girls in the rural areas are safe and protected from all forms gender-based violence, and are liberated from economic marginalisation,” said Chikunga.

She said the government had “levelled the playing field for women in economic, social and other sectors of society”, but more needed to be done.

“Are we there yet? Definitely not. There is still a long way to go before we can proudly say we live in a country that is non-sexist; a country that does not look at people on the basis of gender.”

Chikunga will lead her own departmental Women’s Day celebrations later this month.

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