Do more to destroy child, women abuse

As the 16 days of activism campaign intensifies every year, violence against women and children also increases.

As the 16 days of activism campaign intensifies every year, violence against women and children also increases.

This year many communities fought against sexual and violent acts against children. Calls for the death penalty were loud and community leaders and citizens vented their concern.

This heightened awareness did not arise from the expensive and time-consuming 16 days campaign, but because the crimes reached a crisis. For this, one has to commend the media for its honest and accountable reporting. But while we appreciate media efforts, we urge it to stop stereotyping women as sex objects.

The campaign's failure must also be attributed to legislation and policies. Inadequate legislation on trafficking, age of consent in the Sexual Offences Bill, issues around parental discipline in the Children's Bill, the government's determination not to bring back the death penalty in certain circumstances and its policy about the unborn child play a significant role.

Replace the campaign with an all-year-round commitment. The government must intensify the national action plan with its multi-sector approach, and include it in schools.

Cheryllyn Dudley

ACDP MP, parliament

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