White Ribbon South Africa Community Status Toolkit Launched– ending violence against women and girls in our communities
It is 64 years since 20 000 women, black and white, old and young, working-class and other strata, gathered on 9 August 1956 from across all of South Africa, by train, bus and taxi, to resist the marginalisation and oppression of women from the economic opportunity and livelihood through the imposition of passes.
64 years on since that famous day, and 26 years on since the 2nd women’s charter that declared Violence in all its forms is endemic to South African society. Both sexual and domestic violence are pervasive, and all women live under the threat of or experience violence. Women experience secondary victimization at all stages of the criminal justice system – little has improved
Indeed, the corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic and its underpinning economic crisis have had a dire impact on women in South Africa. The burden of mass hunger, of closed childcare and education institutions, of inadequate public health services, of inadequate access to water, of loss of income and jobs, is carried disproportionately by women. The unequal gender division of labour in our families, in our communities, in our workplaces continues to intensify the burden that women carry. The distress and stress of our communities and families continue to make women especially vulnerable to gender-based violence and harassment – sexual, verbal and psychological.
During Women’s month we especially call on South African men and boys to stand up and speak out against these reprehensible practices by taking the white ribbon South Africa pledge to “never commit or condone violence or abuse against women and girls”.
In support of this pledge the Joe Slovo Foundation is launching the ‘White Ribbon Community Status Toolkit’ providing guidelines on how South African communities can “build back better” and
The toolkit highlights ways that communities, organisations, municipalities, townships can involve men and boys in taking steps to eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) – also often referred to as Gender Based Violence (GBV). White Ribbon South Africa’s programmes challenge the negative, outdated concepts of manhood and inspire ALL South Africans (men and boys, women and girls) to understand and embrace the incredible potential they have to be a part of positive change.