Closing Media Briefing on 16 Days of Activism 2005
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children
is an annual United Nations (UN)-endorsed campaign that commences on 25 November
(International Day for No Violence against Women) each year and culminates on
10 December (International Human Rights Day). The objective of the 16 Days of
Activism campaign is primarily to raise awareness of the violence perpetrated
against women and children and therefore, provides a platform for all stakeholders
to make their voices heard.
Media Briefing: 14 November 2005
year's Campaign started with a media briefing on 14 November at the Wemmer Pan
in Rosettenville. The purpose of the briefing was to inform both the print and
electronic media about the various elements of the Campaign and to solicit their
support for and participation in the Campaign. The event was hosted jointly by
the South African Post Office, the Department of Correctional Services and Government
Postcard Pledge Campaign
Pan Media Briefing doubled as the launch for this year's Postcard Pledge Campaign
- an interactive element of Campaign 2005. In all, 1,5 million postcards were
printed. One million of these have been made available to Campaign partners and
to the general public via the South African Post Office outlets countrywide. The
remaining 500 000 postcards were distributed as an insert via the Independent
Newspaper Group during the first week of the Campaign. Thus far 99 000 postcards
have been collected and displayed on the Wall of Solidarity at the South African
Broadcasting Centre (SABC). These postcards will continue to be offered to the
public throughout the festive season until 13 January 2006.
Ceremony - 25 November 2005
The Deputy President, Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
delivered the keynote address at the Campaign's Launch Ceremony, which took place
at the Kathlehong Stadium. The ceremony was hosted by the Mayor of the Ekurhuleni
Municipality, the Office of the Premier (Gauteng), the Gauteng Department of Community
Safety and the Department of Correctional Services.
The Closing Ceremony
- 10 December 2005
The Deputy President also delivered the keynote
address at the Campaign's closing ceremony on International Human Rights Day.
The closing ceremony took place in Lichtenburg and was hosted by the Lichtenburg
Municipality, the Office of the Premier (North West) and the Department of Correctional
At the Ceremony the Torch of Peace was handed to the Minister
of Transport, marking the country's transition from the 16 Days of Activism Campaign
into the Arrive Alive Campaign. The Torch of Peace will be handed by Minister
Jeff Radebe to the Minister of Education in January to highlight the objectives
of the Education Department's Safer Schools Project.
The SMS Fundraiser was managed (free of charge) by Leaf Wireless Solutions
and all the mobile operators (Cell C, MTN and Vodacom) generously waived the standard
fees usually applicable to such a process. To date R57 635 has been raised in
Partnerships for Peace
The Campaign has always
recognised the critical importance of partnerships between civil society and government.
This year no less than 153 partners in the private and non-governmental organisation
(NGO) sectors joined the Campaign. This is a record in the development of this
eight-year old Campaign. There has also been a much stronger interest this year
in deepening and strengthening existing partnerships.
of the Campaign
The Campaign has traditionally made use of the print
media and radio to carry its messages, but this year saw the introduction of television
advertising to augment the overall messaging process. As the Media Monitoring
Project's Interim Report shows, the public broadcaster - SABC (TV and radio) -
has devoted considerable resources to the Campaign. The independent commercial
stations such as e-TV, MNet and Supersport have also been exceedingly generous
in their support.
From a media-first point of view, the hour-long panel
discussions, for the two Sundays of the Campaign hosted by Jeremy Maggs on SAFM
provided an innovative media response to the issue of Children and the Media.
The Media Monitoring Project's efforts in association with Media@SAFM are to be
applauded in this regard.
Website support for the Campaign
official websites for the Campaign were http://www.womensnet.org.za
A recent South African Google-search by Government Communications (GCIS) rendered
no less than 28 000 website references to the 16 Days of Activism Campaign. Gender
Links too indicated that their website (http://www.genderlinks.org.za)
received 48 000 hits during November.
partnership with Gender Links, the GCIS and the Johannesburg Metro provided a
locus for debate and discussion that made use of cyber technology to take the
thematic discussions (via a chat-room format) into rural communities in South
Africa and across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. These
efforts have provided a concrete example that bridges the digital divide in a
format that is user-friendly, interactive and informative. Gender Links should
be applauded for their seven regional chat-rooms in English, Zulu, Sotho, kiSwahili,
Chichewa, Shona and Creole.
Calendar of Events
16 Days of
Activism events were held across the country and Women's Net reports on its website
that there were no less than 80 events featured on their website alone. The events
ranged from solidarity marches to workshops and fundraising breakfasts. For further
information on the calendar of events, please consult www.womensnet.org.za.
Projects as a direct result of the Campaign
Perhaps one of the measures
of the Campaign's success is the number of legacy projects that were launched
during the 16-day period; projects that leave a lasting and beneficial legacy
beyond the 16 active days of the Campaign, to list but a few:
- A house
was provided for a single mother of three by Uthingo and Habitat for Humanity
(value: R56 000)
- Shelter for women refurbished and re-launched at Phuthaditjhaba
on 3 December 2005 (Dept. of Social Development)
- Shelter refurbished
and upgraded by Radio 702 and Sisters of Mercy on 8 December in Hillbrow
houses built by volunteers for 16 female-headed households in Gauteng under the
guidance of that province's Department of Housing
- 16 Houses built in a
community participation project in the North West Province for 16 female-headed
households in that province
NGOs that benefited from partners
as a direct result of the Campaign:
- Life Line - R25
- Childline - R25 000
- CSVR - R25 000
- POWA - R25 000
The Smollan Group
- Ikaya Lethemba - R100 000
of Public Enterprises & State-Owned Enterprises
- POWA Donation
of three cellular telephones plus cost of year-long fixed-line telephone expenses
to augment POWA's counselling, support and response capacity.
for Human Rights - Sponsorship of Postcards
- Khanyiselani Development Trust
- Funding for the renovation and upgrading of the trust's facilities in Kokstad.
A partnership between Edcon, the interdisciplinary
Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit and the Department of Correctional Service
has resulted in a R600 000 grant from Edcon to this University of Cape Town medico-legal
research unit. Current research projects include investigations into the factors
influencing victim decisions to report sexual offences; attrition of rape cases
at the investigation and prosecution stages of the criminal justice process; police
dereliction of duty in domestic violence cases; provision and compliance with
post-exposure prophylaxis regimes for HIV among survivors of sexual assault and
patterns of domestic homicide in the Western Cape.
The development of a three-phase Anti-Violence Plan between the House
of Traditional Leaders and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was particularly
welcome news. So too was the appointment of several traditional leaders as ambassadors
for this Anti-violence Plan. These ambassadors have been charged with the popularisation
of this plan within the communities to which it is applicable.
by Faith-based Organisations
The development of a Unified Message for
the Campaign by the National Forum of Religious Leaders was another welcome development.
Furthermore a partnership between the South African Council of Churches (SACC)
and the Department of Correctional Service initiated several community/department
platforms for joint initiatives. The service at the Grace Bible Church in Soweto
on the 4 December, 2005 indicated that there is much room for constructive partnerships
between faith-based organisations and government in the context of achieving safer
and less violent communities
Participation by men and boys
men's organisations like Men for Change, Men as Partners and the Men's Forum are
insisting that the current levels of violence perpetrated against women and children
do not occur in their name. This is an extremely encouraging development.
9 December, Adv. Bulelani Ngcuka addressed male inmates at Leeuwkop Correctional
Centre. He was joined by Putco Mufani, who, having been convicted under the Domestic
Violence Act in 1999, is now committed to working with men and boys to change
their attitudes and behaviour. Other participants included Commissioner Bafana
Khumalo from the Commission for Gender Equality and Mr Tshabalala, an activist
for Men for Change. This format was exceedingly well received by the inmates and
Nicro. Requests have been made to repeat the sessions on an ongoing basis.
The Department of Sport and Recreation has been instrumental
in mobilising the various sporting associations and authorities to put their weight
behind Campaign 2005. On the 8 December Orlando Pirates pledged their commitment
to the Campaign at a fundraising breakfast in Johannesburg. They also dedicated
their efforts in the coming titanic battle between the revered Buccaneers and
the ever popular Kaiser Chiefs on the closing day (10 December) of the 16-day
Campaign, to the values it espouses and to the eradication of abuse against women
The Campaign is but one element
of government and civil society's 365-day drive to eradicate gender-based and
child-directed violence. It provides a 16-day window for intense awareness-making
and education. As such, unrealistic expectations with regard to its ability to
reduce levels of women and child abuse should not be harboured.
does, however offer us as a national community, an opportunity to evaluate the
successful measures that have been implemented and to identify the challenges
that continue to blight our service delivery to victims and survivors of violence.
- Reaching a critical mass of South
Africans across the language and urban/rural divide;
- Educating victims
in marginalised urban and rural communities about their rights, the ameliorative
responses they should expect and assuring them that their plight demands the attention
and focus of government and all its civil society partners;
- Sending a
coherent, values-based message to the varied constituencies represented in our
multi-lingual, multi-cultural and diverse society;
- Sensitising the youth
to the necessity for changed values, attitudes and behaviours required for achieving
the non-sexist, non-racist society we aspire to be;
- Reminding the national
community that violence or even the threat of it - severely compromises the ability
of individuals and communities to develop and achieve their full potential;
increased levels of awareness into changes in attitudes and changed behaviour
high levels of awareness of gender violence beyond the 16 Day period.
by: Government Communications (GCIS)
12 December 2005