Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.
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National Women’s month will be celebrated virtually this year because of Covid-19.The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities says it will use the month to strengthen its efforts to eradicate another pandemic – gender-based violence. Communities have been urged to become changemakers. The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) has officially launched Women’s Month under the theme “Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights for an Equal Future”.DPWYD Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane unveiled the theme during a media briefing on Thursday where she also unpacked the sub-themes which would guide the national conversation and programmes aimed at ending inequality and women empowerment initiatives. The minister was joined by her deputy, Hlengiwe Mkhize, Police Minister Bheki Cele and Deputy Minister of Sports and Recreation, Arts and Culture Nocawe Noncedo Mafu. NEW ERA | News24 launches digital subscriptions at R75/month. Breaking news remains freeBecause of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown in effect, the National Women’s Day event will be held virtually on 9 August – with various stakeholders, stalwarts of the liberation and President Cyril Ramaphosa taking part, Nkoana-Mashabane said.The minister said the concept of generation equality was a global campaign and linked the country to global efforts to achieve gender equality by the year 2030.”We want to join hands across spheres of government and with all sectors of society as part of a Decade of Action towards gender equality. “We also want to see sustainable programmes that are geared towards achieving this goal. Together with civil society, we are establishing action coalitions which will work to drive visible change for women in our country,” the minister said.READ | Measures in place to help people with disabilities amid Covid-19 pandemic, says Nkoana-MashabaneShe added that the department continued to focus on inter-sectionality because women, youth and persons with disabilities continued facing multiple forms of deprivation in society.Nkoana-Mashabane said the month would also be used to contribute towards ending gender discrimination and gender-based violence and femicide – and advance the rights of women and girls in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres.She said the month was an opportunity to mobilise women and strengthen their organised formations towards the development of sustainable action coalitions – and a continuation of the development of the national consensus around gender policy priorities and programmes to advance the gender agenda by 2025 and 2030. Communities have been called to join hands and partner in eradicating the gender-based violence and femicide pandemic, as the department will also use the month to accelerate the implementation of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF in partnership with civil society. “Our call to action to the nation today is: Be a part of the generation that ends gender inequality.”I am calling upon changemakers of all ages and genders to tackle the unfinished business of empowering women. We can achieve this through a multi-generational campaign, under the slogan: ‘Be a part of the generation that ends gender inequality’,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.Speaking on behalf of the police, Cele said effort was needed to ensure that gender-based violence was done away with. Cele said families needed to immediately report cases of abuse and not wait until a death occurs. “I think it is one thing we would have to work together [on], to work and enhance the methods of preventing and protecting before these things happen. “We have kept enough kits to deal with gender-based violence and femicide as we need to arrest these people and find answers on what happened,” the minister said. He said the police would be tough on cops who were insensitive in GBV cases.Cele added that there was an agreement that the police would not work alone but in partnership with the department’s inter-ministerial team and women formations.
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