HON MRS TP MTHETHWA MPL, KZN LEGISLATURE
It’s that time of the year again: the month that marks 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Familiar terms again dominate the discourse: violence against women, gender-based violence, sexual violence, intimate partner violence and domestic violence.
It is therefore regrettable that hardly a day passes without reports of murder, rape, beatings, or other forms of violence against women and girls at the hands of men. These sickening acts are taking place in all parts of the country, involving perpetrators and victims of all ages.
Iqembu leNkatha lithi nakubalivuma ukuthi kuningi okwenziwayo uhulumeni kanye nezinhlaka ezahlukene zomphakathi kodwa liyakholelwa ekutheni ngaphandle kokuthi abantu bashintshe imiqondo yabo babone ukuthi ukuhlukumeza kuyinto embi akukho uhulumeni angakakwenza kuphumelele. Kuliqiniso elimsulwa ukuthi abanye bahlukumeza vele bazi ukuthi abakwenzayo akulungile. Ngakhoke ukushintsha kwesimo somqondo kubantu ikona okuyoba isixazululo kulenkinga yokudlanga kokuhlukunyezwa kwabantu besifazane nezingane. Nakuba sikhuluma ngokuhlukunyezwa kwabesifazane nezingane sinxusa nabantu besilisa ukuthi nabo abaphumele obala ngokuhlukunyezwa ngoba bakhona abesifazane abahlukumeza abesilisa. Ayiphele lento yokuthi naseziteshini zamaphoyisa amadoda uma eyobika ngokuhlukunyezwa kwawo bese ephendulwa ihlaya nasemphakathini. Bangakanani abesilisa asebanquma ukuzibulala ngoba besaba ukuphumela obala.
Society is incorrectly mobilised to pay attention to issues of women during women’s month and thereafter we carry on, the same has happened to the question of gender-based violence and women abuse. We only talk about it when there is a case and once, we bury the deceased, the public debates cease. We also only talk about it with commitment during the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence only to stop when the calendar period lapses. Abantu abayeke nokusola utshwala nobubha ukuthi ikona okuholele ekutheni bahlukumeze abantu.
Most women and children who are sexually abused find it difficult to speak out and seek help because of the resentment they face should they do so, the grave choice becomes a painful non-option of keeping quite without seeking help because of the heavy stigma they risk facing should they cry for help.
What remains visibly clear is that we can’t carry on like this. The status quo must change, this is not a time for events and sloganeering about gender-based violence and women abuse, it’s a time for all of us to make a commitment that we have buried enough women already and now we say no more!
We have talked a lot about gender-based violence. We have demonstrated against it, but no change has been forthcoming. We have so many good laws dealing with these criminal acts but implementation has always been a problem. We need to find new ways of dealing with this scourge.
IFP PROGRAMME OF ACTION ON GBV
As the IFP is against GBV we will be visible in our communities by having workshops, community engagements with different stakeholders to talk and have robust debates about how GVB can be eradicated in our society. Kubalulekile ukuthi nathi njengamaqembu ezombusazwe singagcini ngokukhuluma kuphela kodwa nathi kumele siphonse itshe esivivaneni sixoxe nomphakathi ngalesihlava.
Iqembu leNkatha likhathazekile ngodaba lwabefundisi abacashe ngemuva kokhololo neBhayibheli kepha bebe beyizimpisi ezidla emhlambini. Sinxusa uhulumeni nomkhandlu wezamabandla ukuthi awuqalise umkhankaso kazwelonke wokubheka ukuthi ngabe wonke amabandla abhalise ngokusemthethweni yini uma etholakalaka ukuthi awabhalisile labo befundisi ababoshwe. Siyambonga nje udadewethu uCherly Zondi obe nesibindi esiyisimanga sokudalula wonke amahlazo enziwa umfundisi uOmotoso. Lokhu kumele kugqugquzele bonke abesifazane ukuthi basukume bakhulume konke ngokuhlukunyezwa kwabo. Siyasigxeka futhi nesenzo sommeli kamfundisi uOmotoso sokubuza imibuzo ebucayi kuCherly Zondi ngokunukubezwa kwakhe. Sifisa uhulumeni abhekisise kabanzi indlela okumele abammeli babuze ngayo imibuzo kulabo abayizisulu zokuhlukunyezwa ngokocansi uma befakaza ezinkantolo.
Forced child marriages are deplorable acts that affect our children on a daily basis. It has to stop and the only way is to give our children a voice is through aggressive intervention, education and support by communities, traditional leaders and government.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN?
Together we must ensure that women are safe and secure from GBV and that all human rights should be respected. So, let us build on the lessons learnt and make wise and bold progress as we work to achieve a dream society free from discrimination against women, for the benefit of all.
This is our joint responsibility, today and for South Africa’s tomorrow.