Today South Africans filled the streets of our capital city in a march that should not exist in a normal society. Yet, it is clear that the abnormal is getting alarmingly close to becoming the norm. It is this alarm that makes it necessary for us to come out in our numbers to raise our voices against the scourge of Gender Based Violence. The inner City of Pretoria came to a standstill today when the #100MenMarch descended on the city, as many men and women walked to raise awareness on violence against women and children.
As Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training I remain particularly concerned about the rising incidents of Gender Based Violence in institutions of higher learning. Raising our voices in protest on its own is not going to resolve this mammoth affliction that we face as a society.
It is important that we take a firm policy stance and come up with systems to make our campuses safer spaces for our students. At campus GBV imbizos across the country students keep echoing the same cry, “Enough is Enough!”
“STOP THE BEATINGS!”
“STOP THE KILLINGS”
I unfortunately was not able to join the march today, but my voice is certainly added to the many that unequivocally declared a zero tolerance to any form of violence against women and children.
I do this in support of the survivors of Gender Based Violence that I meet at various institutions. In KZN recently, I met a young woman who spoke out publicly for the first time about being raped in her room at res by someone she regarded as her friend.
I also met a brave 22 year old student who was a victim of Ukuthwala at the tender age of 15. She is a survivor and now tells her story to empower others. These and the many others that speak up on various platforms are here to tell their stories. Others like Zolile Khumalo were not so fortunate. They paid the ultimate price of this scourge. We will not stand by and watch. We must make each and every campus safe for all students.
Today and every day of the year, let us send a clear message to all the men in South Africa, that Gender Based Violence is unacceptable and it must be stopped.
I support the #100MenMarch.
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