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Statement on 16 Days Of Activism -Violence Against Women And Children
COSATU marks the 16 Days of Activism against violence that is targeted at women and children by revisiting some of the statistics that were produced by Gender Links.
From the Gender Links' research we learnt that,
"77% percent of women in Limpopo province, 51% of women in Gauteng, 45% of women in the Western Cape and 36% of women in KwaZulu-Natal have experienced some form of violence (emotional, economic, physical or sexual) in their lifetime, both within and outside intimate relationships.
A higher proportion of men in Gauteng (76%) and KwaZulu-Natal (41%) admitted to perpetrating violence against women in their lifetime..."
COSATU is calling on all its members to participate in all the programmes that are organised across the country to mark the "16 Days of activism against gender based violence". In addition it is calling on all its trade unions to continue educating and raising awareness to members and the community on the scourge of gender based violence.
Other statistics indicate that 176 rapes per day between April 2011and March 2012 were reported, which is significant, noting that not all rapes are reported by women for fear of retribution, secondary harassment and the burden that patriachy puts on all victims of sexual violence.
COSATU is further calling on government, in particular the security cluster, to ensure that it sets aside financial resources that will be monitored by the up to now ineffective National Council on GBV because of lack of funding. These funds must be used for prevention measures e.g. ongoing education and public information, co-ordination with the community policing forums, improved education of police officials on preventing issues of GBV.
They could also be used in improving data gathering in the police force for better reporting on GBV, effective investigation and conviction of perpetrators of violence against women and children.
COSATU is concerned that issues dealing with violence against women and children are not receiving the same attention as reports that are filled with gossip about corruption in high places. COSATU is still available for any meaningful measures and mechanisims that will be agreed to deal with GBV which mostly targets women and girls..
COSATU argues that it is time our government, our members, our communities and the media play a meaningful role in the eradication of the scourge of violence against women and children in our country. COSATU is concerned that too many women and children especially girls are survivors of all kinds of violence including sexual harassment, rape, battery, abductions or "ukuthwala", sexual orientation and identity; but is even more outraged that far too many of them are even killed and it seems that no-one is dealing with this issue apart from some NGOs. This is an indictment against our government and the South African media. It is way past time for decisive action on dealing with the scourge of violence against women and children.