As global citizens will be highlighting and raising awareness about the 16 Days of Activism (16 Day Campaign), which is a United Nations campaign taking place annually from Wednesday the 25th of 2020, POPCRU will also be highlighting this important time as part of our long-held efforts to eliminate violence against women and children.
Gender-based violence has long plagued our nation. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19, reports have shown that violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has intensified.
According to the United Nations, one in three women worldwide will experience physical or sexual violence – mostly by an intimate partner.
Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations.
Every November, the 16th Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign seeks to call attention to the violence women and girls around the world experience on a daily basis, and this can never be enough.
Reports of violence against women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased around the world, as many women and girls were locked down in their homes with their abusers, isolated from support networks and services.
The year 2020 has been the worst for our noble cause in the fight against this GBV pandemic, and has exposed the gaps under which the triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment have in particular affected the women of our country.
This situation has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 outbreak, leading to over 87 000 reported cases on the GBV hotline under level 5, the murder of Tshegofatso Pule and countless other atrocious acts.
As we remember these silenced victims of GBV, let their memories urge us further in taking a stance in fighting this scourge each and every day of the year.
While we commend the government for adopting a National Strategic Plan for Gender Based Violence and Femicide (NSP-GBVF), which aims to ensure that the victims of GBVF receive the support they deserve, and perpetrators are brought to book, there is still a lot to be done in this regard.
We further note that its current form of implementation through the appointment of a Board of Trustees is pursued instead of following the National Council route; it is likely to be rendered a white elephant. For this, we call on Minister Lamola to ensure a legislative framework is formulated.
We call on government of South Africa to ratify International Labour Organisation’s Convention 190 and Recommendation 206, ending violence and harassment in the place work. This ratification will protect Correctional Officials who are raped and killed by inmates while performing their duty, traffic police who are sexually harassed while on duty, Police officers and officials who are killed in the line of duty, some who are killed and or harassed solely for wearing the uniform of driving a marked vehicle.
We remain proud of the selfless efforts demonstrated by these frontline who have relentlessly worked to save lives through lockdown level 5 to date.
While commemorating these16 days of activism, we are eagerly awaiting the pending court processes as it relates to the full implementation of the PSCBC Resolution 1/2018, and are adamant it will be in the interest of workers.
We urge South Africans to continue adhering to safety and health measures of regularly washing their hands, wearing their masks, keeping social distancing at all material times.
Issued by POPCRU on 24/11/2020
For more information contact;Popcru National Spokeperson Richard Mamabolo 066 135 4349