The “International 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence“ (GBV) campaign which is observed annually from November to December should and must be highlighted every day of the year. This awareness campaign strives to actively mobilise women but especially men from all walks of life, across the globe, to condemn and eliminate the violence, brutality and killing of our women and children in societies.
Globally and even before the Covid pandemic, a staggering 1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual violence mostly by an intimate partner. In South Africa, a woman or child is killed every 3 hours at the hands of a man.
Sexual persecution and other forms of violence against women and children continue to be rife in communities, on streets, in public spaces, parks and on digital platforms.
The City of Joburg and Joburg City Parks and Zoo have, in the past few years, taken a visible stance against Gender-Based Violence, with campaigns such as Welcome Outside and Reclaiming Our Public Spaces as their most successful efforts. In 2020, JCPZ expanded these initiatives by hosting young and old township dwellers and suburbians in outdoor environments, such as parks, in order to create a culture of conversation where people learn to voice their concerns about sensitive and tough conversations in the leisure of outdoor spaces.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Development in the City of Joburg, Cllr Ronald Harris, together with representatives from the Social Development, SAPS, Sports and Recreation, JMPD and other prominent stakeholders, will address over 300 community members of Diepsloot on GBV and the approach in combating this heinous pandemic. The event will be held on 24 March 2022 at 10h00 at the Diepsloot Park, Ngonyama Street, Diepsloot, Region A.
Cllr Harris, through the City of Joburg’s efforts in educating, creating awareness and the stigma around GBV, will be reiterating the services available for victims of GBV and where to seek help. He explains, “the main reason why we are having this Gender-Based Violence programme in the middle of the year, is just to reiterate and remind ourselves, especially men to be the protectors and nurturers of our women and children. Please go for counselling if you are challenged and feel driven towards that wrong decision. Seek counselling, the facilities and options are available in the City of Johannesburg.”
External stakeholders and non-profit organisations dealing with GBV issues on a daily basis, will showcase their services to the people of Diepsloot. Survivors, through stigma, are afraid to tap into available services and support hubs.
The City of Joburg, in partnership with the Social Development, JMPD, Community Development, SAPS and Sports and Recreation are partners in assisting and providing these services for residents in Joburg.
Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo will continue the fight against GBV by encouraging communities to report any transgressions in our public open spaces and parks.