Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Qwa-Qwa, Phuthaditjhaba: The Minister of Women in the Presidency, Bathabile Dlamini, the Premier of the Free State, Sefora ‘Sisi’ Ntombela and leaders of government, joined in an interactive Men and Boys Dialogue in QwaQwa, Free State, on 28 August 2018.

This was held as part of the Women’s Month activities aimed at uniting South African women and girls, men and boys, in pursuit of the national goals of women empowerment, gender equality and the achievement of a non-sexist society.

As part of the continuous celebrations the centenary year of the late Mama Albertina Sisulu and the late former President Nelson Mandela – doyens of South Africa’s struggle for freedom and democracy – this Women’s Month programme aimed to intensify the multi-sectoral response to Gender-Based Violence (GBV), including the mobilization of and partnerships with civil society and escalation of public discourse on the eradication of the scourge.

Historic march of 5000 men and boys calling for an end to violence against women and children.

The programme started with a historic march of 5000 men and boys calling for an end to violence against women and children. Men and boys from various sectors of society marched to raise awareness and pledge to play significant roles to stop all forms of gender-based violence, before the main interactive programme of the day at the Charles Mopeli Stadium, where the Free State Provincial Government also provided integrated services.

Director General of the Provincial Government; Mr Kopung Ralikontsane

The March was led by Director General of the Provincial Government; Mr Kopung Ralikontsane and MEC For Department of Health; Honourable Montsheng Tsiu accompanying along with masses of young boys and men is HOD For Treasury Mr Mahlatsi, HOD for Department of Public Works and Infrastructure; Mme Gadija Brown and Chief Director; Moses Moremi.

In his welcoming speech, the Director-General of the Free State Provincial Government; Kopung Ralikontsane welcomed multitudes of people at the Charles Mopeli Stadium, in QwaQwa. Mr. Ralikontsane said abuse against women in the country has reached unacceptable levels.

“We have legislation in our country which protects women from both physical and sexual abuse, however we continue to hear harrowing stories of abuse against women. We say enough is enough. Let there be peace and prosperity in our land,” said the Director-General.

One of the women who gave Testimony about GBV.

The testimonies at the MEN and BOYS Dialogue were led by a very emotional story narrated by Premier Sisi Ntombela about a young blind woman who had been raped and later was diagnosed with HIV/Aids as a result with these barbaric act of injustice.

Premier called on all arms of the state to work together to bring abusers to be brought to book and she further called on all men to play pivotal role in ensuring safe communities for their women and children.

“If the country is to achieve its goal to build a non-sexist society and achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, systems of unequal gender relations and oppression against women have to be dismantled.” said Premier Ntombela.

Premier Sisi Ntombela with Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

“Women are bleeding, they want their own TRC to share their painful experiences at the hands of abusers. My question to Law abiding Men who love their women and children is, Why are you so quite when women and children are being abused and dying as a result? We condemn the abuse and brutal killings of our mothers, sisters and children.

There is no place for any individual who carries out such acts foreign to our loving and caring nature as a people.” said Minister of Women in the Presidency, in her address.

The crowd joined in the candle lighting session.

First National Bank (FNB) made a donation of R50.000 towards Early Childhood Development Centres in Phuthaditjhaba. This was part of a programme wherein the provincial government also donated brand new wheel chairs for disabled pupils in the area.

FNB Representative handing over a cheque.

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