What 16 Days of activism should mean for you

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16 Days of Activism, which is held from 25 November to 10 December, is a national and global campaign aimed at raising awareness, with a particular focus on spreading the awareness of violence against women and children.

According to the United Nations, one woman or child in every 833 people in South Africa alone is raped. This is in contrast to the global average of one in 10,000.

Rape is just one of the many abuses that women and children globally are constantly subjected to, and plays a large role in South Africa’s society as well. Men being raped is also prevalent in the country.

Where children are concerned, 37% of South Africa’s population is made up of people under the age of 18. According to Unicef, children that are born in poorer circumstances are highly likely to experience hunger, have little to no access to water and sanitation, and are less likely to complete secondary school.

The South African government has however passed a number of laws, including the Domestic Violence Act, the Children’s Act and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act) Amendment Act as a means of lawfully combatting and curbing related crimes and protecting vulnerable children.

The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, which is headed by government minister Lulama Xingwana, has also been established as a national support and awareness base for South Africa.

Organisations such as Gender Links, Childline South Africa and People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) are at the forefront of the 16-day activism period.

Other key issues that fall within the 16 Days of Activism period include International Day for the Disabled, international Children’s Day and Human Rights Day.

Government will dedicate each day over the 16 day period to a related cause in order to raise awareness on a national level, and stop the cycle of violence and abuse.

Caxton Central

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