Thursday, December 6, 2007

Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Pretoria

On December 5th in Pretoria, South Africa, hundreds of citizens marched with shirts with the slogan across the chest "50/50 No Compromise / No Going Back" in order to promote equal gender representation in government. The activists marched from Sammy Marks Square to the Union Buildings in an attempt for the government to sign a memorandum promising a stronger effort for gender equality in the government. The march went over quite positively with government officials, as the memorandum was received by Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad and signed by local government deputy minister Nomatyala Hangana. These government officials, among several others, even joined in on the march along with several organizations including Gender Links and the Women's League of the African National Congress.

As to the campaign's goal of creating a completely equal gender ratio in government positions, Minister Pahad remarked, "There is no reason why there shouldn’t be a 50/50 balance in government." Not only women participated in the march, as many men and youth also took part, supporting the cause and enjoying the entertainment provided by singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka at the Union Buildings. The march was not, however, only directed at gender equality in government but also at violence against women and children in Africa, about which minister Hangana stressed education as a solution: "To curb the levels of violence against women and children we’d like to see children be taught against women abuse."

Overall, the march seemed to be a success as a part of the 16-day campaign.

The event is covered by an article in The Times.

1 comment:

cmr said...

I had not heard of the gender equality movement in South Africa before reading this. I would be very curious to see what positive measures come from recent events, especially on the education front. I firmly believe domestic violence nurtures further violence, so feel the focus of this campaign could not be more relevant to curbing South Africa's violence problems.