Don't just talk against violence, says Motlanthe
"Let us do something positive in our communities to build a society that protects and respects the rights of women and children"
DEPUTY President Kgalema Motlanthe says the high rate of violence in South Africa is a clear indication that more still needs to be done.
Motlanthe was speaking in Rustenburg yesterday at the closing ceremony of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children and the launch of the national council against gender-based violence.
He said while incidents of battery, domestic violence and child abuse often went undetected or under-reported, statistics over the years had shown that 90% of women had experienced emotional and physical abuse.
More than 71% of women had experienced sexual abuse and 58% experienced economic abuse. Of these cases, 60% were committed by partners, lovers or spouses.
Women, 63% of them, viewed emotional abuse as more prevalent and as the most serious.
Motlanthe said young women were more vulnerable to assault and sexual coercion by partners and others and that as many as five out of seven children were abused.
He also acknowledged the presence of the 19 bikers who had just completed an 8000km tour to nine Southern African countries to raise awareness about violence against women and children.
"Indeed you did not turn a blind eye, but took action to demonstrate solidarity, not only in our country but at a regional and global level.
"I hope men across all sectors of society, such as business, the faith-based community, traditional leaders, the entertainment sector, labour and other sectors, will take it upon themselves not to turn a blind eye, not to just talk against violence but to do something positive in their communities to contribute to the collective effort to build a society that protects and respects the rights of women and children."
Motlanthe also said the country was making progress in influencing men to stop treating women and children as objects of abuse and violence.
"Our experience and understanding of the importance of human rights should enable us to build a strong institutional and constitutional framework to protect such rights."