Today's Big Stories, Spotlight on Rape

Govt needs to rethink '16 Days' campaign, says professor

Every year government runs the '16 Days of Activism campaign for No Violence Against Women and Children', and every year gender-based violence and child abuse continues to make headlines around the same time.

Activist and UWC Professor Shirley Walters says the '16 Days of Activism' campaign needs to be one mechanism among many other on-going tools to fight injustices against women.

She says the campaign should be a time to review all the continuous advocacy work which is done during the year, celebrating progress and achievements made.

On its own, it's like a fireworks display. You see it in all its glory and then it's really a damp squib.

Shirley Walters, Activist and UWC Professor

I would argue that this need to be more of a culmination of a year-long set of processes and programmes.

Shirley Walters, Activist and UWC Professor

Walters advises that the campaign and its tactics need to be thought about in more strategic ways.

She says the time should be an opportunity to celebrate accomplishments of the year and not a single superficial moment, which may be a waste of money.

She has urged the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities to re-asses how the funds and resources for the campaign are allocated and used.

She suggests that they may be put to better use in year-long programmes and social interventions.

Walters has challenged all organisations, institutions and civic bodies to reflect on their policies on gender-based violence and their effectiveness.

If it's seen as one off, it's not enough.

Shirley Walters, Activist and UWC Professor

Have a listen to the professor's suggestions below:


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