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Time for more action against perpetrators of gender-based violence<p><strong>​The following speech was delivered by the Executive Mayor today at the 100 Men March against violence on women and children.</strong></p><p>Thank you all for being here today to honour such an important occasion and to raise your voices in support of this campaign against gender-based violence.</p><p>We are also gathering here today a few days before what would have been President Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday and this year national government is commemorating the centenary of Albertina Sisulu’s birth.</p><p>These are two great people who stood for women’s rights and ushered in a democratic dispensation which placed greater importance on the protection of children’s rights.</p><p>Twenty-four-years ago, right here in Parliament, our dear Tata Madiba delivered his State of the Nation Address in which he said that ‘Freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression.’</p><p>As South Africans here today, we have to ask ourselves whether the women and children of this country are free from all forms of abuse. Are we doing enough as a country to ensure that we emancipate the most vulnerable in our society from abuse? </p><p>South Africa is still experiencing high levels of abuse and the killing of women and children, and this is in an indictment on our society. This calls for greater action from all sectors to stand together and put an end to this problem. For how long are we going to have to gather like this to speak on the same issue every year? How long till we see real action against perpetrators of this injustice?</p><p>I was looking at some statistics this week, which state that ‘on average 1 in 5 women older than 18 years old have experienced physical violence and that 41 percent of all reported rape cases over the last three years involve children.’ </p><p>These are really disturbing figures and are in fact really unacceptable for a country that has a Constitution aimed at protecting vulnerable groups in our society.</p><p>As a country, we owe it to the great giants Tata Madiba and Mama Albertina to ensure we fight every single day for the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society.</p><p>I’m sure they are turning in their graves with the disgrace that is happening in our country where women and children are senselessly murdered by cowards.</p><p>These men who beat up on women and children are cowards. They think they are so strong or claim to be strong but in fact they are weak.</p><p>They are the same men who underestimate the power of women and the contribution we make to society. </p><p>Women and children are supposed to be loved and cared for in the same way that women love and nurture their families.</p><p>Today, I am making a call for all of us to work harder to ensure that all women are freed from all forms of oppression, be it at home or in the workplace.</p><p>We cannot sit by idly in a world where people don’t respect women and we need to continue this fight to rid our nation of this despicable occurrence.</p><p>It is deeply distressing that in many cases the perpetrators of these crimes are close relatives or friends who are hurting our women and children.</p><p>To the men here, I implore you to help your fellow men who continue to raise their hands to women and children to change their ways.</p><p>I challenge you individually to bring five other men to this march next year. These are men that you will work on over the next year to change their behaviour and attitudes in how they treat women and children.</p><p>It also crucial for us as women and mothers to raise our sons to be respectful of women and teach them that women deserve to be treated as equals to them.</p><p>It is even more important for us as women to stand up for ourselves and protect our young ones from abuse.</p><p>We have rights but they remain words on paper if we do not claim those rights and act against abuse. </p><p>I also want to take this opportunity to salute all the women who have walked away from abusive relationships and dangerous situations which they have been placed in by their partners.</p><p>I want to urge other women to have the courage to say ’enough is enough,’ to reclaim their rights and leave those men who no longer care for you but want to hurt you.</p><p>As families and friends of people who are in abusive relationships – we can no longer remain quiet for fear of a stigma that will be attached to a family.</p><p>We cannot protect men who hurt women and children because we don’t want to taint a family name.</p><p>As the City of Cape Town, we are also playing our part in fighting this scourge of violence against women and children.</p><p>We have trained approximately 1 020 people through Mosaic and other partners to raise awareness on domestic and gender-based violence in communities across the metro.</p><p>In 2016, the City also initiated the Women for Change programme where we currently employ over 780 women living in our Council rental stock to help uplift their communities through addressing environmental and socio-economic challenges.</p><p>These community mothers reside in rental stock units and have been recruited, trained and deployed in Athlone, Hanover Park, Manenberg, Uitsig, Lavender Hill, Ocean View and Ravensmead.</p><p>I again want to thank all of you who have taken this walk with us at the #100MenMarch today.</p><p>This occasion and this campaign must serve as a motivating force to ensure men break the chain of violence against women and children.</p><p>But your activism shouldn’t end here today. I appeal to you to continue protecting the vulnerable and working every day to ensure women and children’s rights are respected.</p><p>You don’t need to be a woman to fight for women’s rights. You don’t have to be a member of the LGBTQI community to want gay, lesbian and transgender people to have equal rights.</p><p>We also have to go out there to push for women empowerment and ensure they enjoy equal rights to their male counterparts.</p><p>We all have the responsibility to work to create a just world where all who live in it are equal and treated with the respect they deserve.</p><p>Thank you, baie dankie, enkosi, shukran.</p><p><strong>End</strong></p>2018-07-11T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891d;GP0|#8b03f782-9eb6-455f-82e9-6429b6354cf9;L0|#08b03f782-9eb6-455f-82e9-6429b6354cf9|SpeechesGP0|#2b5ed315-ebe9-4507-9d95-d6a08316660a;L0|#02b5ed315-ebe9-4507-9d95-d6a08316660a|Gender based violence;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#6f359a5c-6b7b-47bc-8437-f4d24d700325;L0|#06f359a5c-6b7b-47bc-8437-f4d24d700325|The mayor;GP0|#de997c76-7ac9-465b-b18e-077e0af4b42c;L0|#0de997c76-7ac9-465b-b18e-077e0af4b42c|domestic abuse1

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