“The heart of any society, its capacity to care and protect, its goodness and moral health, are determined by how it treats its most vulnerable and, I must say, I realise with a deep sorrow that we fall so short of making the safety of our women and children a priority.”
This was the words of Lebogang Motlhaping, MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison in the Northern Cape, on Thursday (06/12) at the march and signing of a pledge during the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence against Women and Children.
The 16-days campaign started on 25 November and ended on Monday (10/12).
“It is on days like these that I realise that we are so wrong to only reflect and act against violence against women and children on days like these,” Motlhaping said.
“I am not referring to safety being only a policing or government issue. I want to start at our homes.
“There, behind closed doors, where the prying eyes of neighbours do not see and preaching of love and respect of pastors do not reach, where the sirens of police vans are not heard, it is here that we breed the atmosphere conducive to the bodily violation and the perpetration of psychological warfare on the self-same people we were supposed to protect and nurture,” he said.
“Each and every one of us is the culmination of a complex coming together of genes, upbringing, culture, context, education, beliefs and values.
“Some of us witnessed violence on a daily basis and to such an extent that acts of violence have normalised. Seeing someone hurt or hurting someone has become so commonplace we do not even have the good sense of empathy at the face of suffering.
“Some of us are so conflicted and twisted we only feel at home in a world where confrontation and conflict affirms itself in our anger and the rage we dish out, not to people greater and stronger than us, but to those that cannot defy us or defend themselves.
“Behind the curtain that divides the kitchen from the bedroom we make our women slaves to our aggression and we beat them into submission with our weapons.
“When we feel like they have not learned their lesson we beat our daughters and even our sons into submission,” he said.
“My point is we make the weak pay for all the places we cannot assert ourselves in. It is a sick reality that we make our families suffer for our failings as men and fathers. This needs to stop.”
Motlhaping urged the communities take the time to open their eyes to the suffering of those around them and see how they contribute to it and how they can make it stop.
“Starting with the people around you, have conversations about masculinity and femininity, religion, culture and how our belief systems and values contribute to the unfortunate and terrifying escalation of violence in our houses and communities.
“Through our efforts we need to ensure that political and community leadership support the eradication of gender based violence. We need to resource safe spaces like Thuthuzela Care Centres, sexual offenses courts, victim friendly units and shelters that respond to the needs of all people, including people with disabilities and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) community.”
Motlhaping said we must make sure that our programming and interventions are gender-responsive and promote women-centred economic development.
“At the heart of it, we must embark on targeted, social behaviour change programmes to address patriarchal values and norms and structural drivers of gender-based violence,” he said.
Stuur jou mening van 300 woorde of minder na MyStem@netwerk24.com en ons sal dit vir publikasie oorweeg. Onthou om jou naam en van, ‘n kop-en-skouers foto en jou dorp of stad in te sluit.
Netwerk24 ondersteun ‘n intelligente, oop gesprek en waardeer sinvolle bydraes deur ons lesers. Lewer hier kommentaar wat relevant is tot die onderwerp van die artikel. Jou mening is vir ons belangrik en kan verdere menings of ondersoeke stimuleer. Geldige kritiek en meningsverskille is aanvaarbaar, maar hierdie is nie ‘n platform vir haatspraak of persoonlike aanvalle nie. Kommentaar wat irrelevant, onnodig aggressief of beledigend is, sal verwyder word. Lees ons volledige kommentaarbeleid
Hanlie Retief is 'n bekroonde skrywer en aanbieder van 'n Halfuur met Hanlie op Via.
Blouwillem is 'n voorheen bevoordeelde, tans geseënde middeljarige man.
Waldimar Pelser is redakteur van Rapport en aanbieder van 'In Gesprek' op kykNET.
Murray La Vita is 'n bekroonde rubriekskrywer en profielskrywer vir Netwerk24.
Ivor Price is 'n bekende radiopersoonlikheid en rubriekskrywer vir Netwerk24.
Piet Matipa is 'n draaiboekskrywer vir 7de Laan. Hy was voorheen 'n joernalis by Beeld in Pretoria.
Henry Jeffreys is 'n politieke kommentator en voormalige redakteur van Die Burger.
Johann Maarman is eindredakteur by Die Burger en 'n bekroonde rubriekskrywer.
Max du Preez is 'n outeur en joernalis. Hy was die stigtersredakteur van Vrye Weekblad.
Nathan Trantraal is 'n strokiesprentkunstenaar en digter van Kaapstad.
Annemarie van der Walt is 'n rubriekskrywer van Kaapsehoop in Mpumalanga.
Leopold Scholtz is 'n vryskutjoernalis en politieke kommentator.
Barnard Beukman is die redakteur van Beeld.
Gert Coetzee is redakteur van Volksblad.
Herman Lategan is 'n skrywer wie se rubrieke in 'Binnekring van Spookasems' gebundel is.
Sonja Loots is 'n dosent aan die Universiteit van Kaapstad en bekroonde outeur.
Sarel van der Walt is 'n joernalis vir Netwerk24 en 'n voormalige Londen-korrespondent vir Media24.
Charles Smith is Netwerk24 se nuusredakteur in Bloemfontein.
Hallo, jy moet ingeteken wees of registreer om artikels te lees.