Cape Town – As South Africa is set to embark on 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign on Friday, SOS Children’s Village calls for intensified efforts to end the scourge of violence against women and children.
SOS Children’s Villages is an independent, non-governmental organisation that advocates for the rights of South Africa’s marginalised children. It offers loving, family-like care for children and young people who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care.
Established in 1984, SOS has eight Children’s Villages and three Social Centres across eight provinces.
According to the organisation, research shows that 27% of women and girls aged 15 and older worldwide have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence.
In South Africa, this number is a third or even up to 50%, it said.
The theme for 16 Days of Activism is: ““Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment to build Women’s Resilience against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide: Connect, Collaborate, Contract!”
The 16 Days of Activism will be observed from November 25 until December 10.
The organisation calls on the government to implement law, policy and practice to create protective environments for women and children.
The organisation’s Global Gender Officer, Vuyelwa Sineke said gender-based violence impacts everyone.
“As an organisation that strives to achieve our vision where ‘every child belongs to a family and grows with love, respect and security’, it is critical that we analyse and address gender inequalities and gender-based violence experienced by girls, boys, women, and men in all their diversities in our programmes, policies, and structures,” Sineke said.
The Global Gender Officer at the SOS Children’s Villages is responsible for gender parity initiatives, and fostering capacity development on gender mainstreaming. This role looks at lessons and good practices within the organisation, and forges a networking partnership with other stakeholders dealing with gender mainstreaming.
“At SOS Children’s Villages we offer, secure and loving care in a family setting, to children who have lost or are at risk of losing the care of their parents and cannot live with their biological family.
“It is our responsibility as an organisation to uphold and ensure our children are protected. We have Child Protection Policies and systems in place to ensure that we are able to protect children.
“These policies outline behaviours and actions that are unacceptable, they provide guidelines on procedures to be followed, and reporting structures with trained and accredited Child Safeguarding investigators, whose work has resulted in an improved quality of care and improved safety for children in our care,” the organisation said.