Home Opinion & Features An end to rape…that is our wish

An end to rape…that is our wish

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“Priest pleads guilty to sexual assault” … “Traumatised mom finds teenage boy raping her eight-year-old daughter” … “Matric pupil held after video of girl’s rape at party is shared with learners”… and then a court story outlining how health aut

The three life sentences handed down to the rapist and killer of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana must act as a deterrent to men who rape and kill the women of our country.

So said President Cyril Ramaphosa – who has also announced and Emergency Action Plan to deal with gender-based violence (GBV) which is causing such suffering in South Africa.

Uyinene’s story shocked South Africa and she became a symbol of GBV and the cry “enough is enough”.

It prompted Ramaphosa to announce that government had reprioritised R1.6 billion towards this plan.

Recent headlines on our IOL website as we head towards the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence next week are a reminder of the sad state we find ourselves in.

“Priest pleads guilty to sexual assault” … “Traumatised mom finds teenage boy raping her eight-year-old daughter” … “Matric pupil held after video of girl’s rape at party is shared with learners”… and then a court story outlining how health authorities dismally failed a three-year-old allegedly sexually assaulted by her own father.

Her aunt, who suspected she had been molested, was turned away from a day hospital in Pretoria and the judge said mechanisms should be in place to prevent this.

16 Days of Activism runs from November 25 to December 10 (International Human Rights Day) and aims to get the conversation going on how to eradicate gender-based violence and mobilise communities to be involved in finding solutions.

Locally, the Independent Media group – of which the DFA is a part – will participate in the Don’t Look Away campaign, with a focus this year on #talk2yourboys; the idea behind this being that if boys are taught to be good men, we can break the cycle of violence against women.

The South African 16 Days campaign is part of a broader international campaign UNiTE, in which the United Nations calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations to put an end to gender-based violence.

In her message, the director of Women, South African Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, says: “If I could have one wish granted, it might well be a total end to rape”.

It should be the wish of us all.