GENDER structures 'ARE IN DISARRAY'

LOUD AND CLEAR: The campaign highlights the seriousness of abuse against children. Pic: ELIJAR MUSHIANA. 10/08/2009. © Sowetan.
10 AUGUST 2009 MONDAY:
SUPPORT: These children from different schools in Limpopo have walked to the streets in Polokwane as a part of fight against children abuse and supporting women for their role played during the apartheid. The function was organised by Childline Limpopo and held at Polokwane CBD on Saturday. PHOTO: ELIJAR MUSHIANA
LOUD AND CLEAR: The campaign highlights the seriousness of abuse against children. Pic: ELIJAR MUSHIANA. 10/08/2009. © Sowetan. 10 AUGUST 2009 MONDAY: SUPPORT: These children from different schools in Limpopo have walked to the streets in Polokwane as a part of fight against children abuse and supporting women for their role played during the apartheid. The function was organised by Childline Limpopo and held at Polokwane CBD on Saturday. PHOTO: ELIJAR MUSHIANA

SOUTH Africa's "gender machinery" is in "disarray" and it is not clear who is coordinating the 16 Days of Activism Campaign, an NGOs group said yesterday.

SOUTH Africa's "gender machinery" is in "disarray" and it is not clear who is coordinating the 16 Days of Activism Campaign, an NGOs group said yesterday.

"At a time when it is most needed, participants noted, the national gender machinery is in disarray," reads a statement from Gender Links and the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR).

"There is a lack of clarity on which agency is driving the 16 Days of Activism Campaign, which used to be housed in the Department of Local Government, following the establishment of the Ministry of Women, Children and Disability in April."

They said there was also still no specific "domestic violence" category which would enable monitoring of crime. They called on the government to resuscitate the 365 Days of National Action Plan to End Gender Violence.

The statement followed a three-day symposium convened by the CSVR under the banner "We can prevent violence". They also called for the establishment of a special fund to end gender violence.

In addition, they called on Fifa to use the 2010 World Cup to send out strong messages in support of the campaign to end gender violence as well as HIV-Aids.

They said the 12percent increase in reported rape cases to 71500, from April 1 2008 to March 31 2009, may in part be due to the expanded definition of rape under the new act. The figures are unacceptably high and likely to be understated due to under-reporting.

Government was also still "well behind" in reaching the target of 81 one-stop centres for addressing gender violence by 2010 provided for in the National Sexual Assault Policy.

The 16 days campaign takes place every year from November 25, International Day of No Violence Against Women.

It runs until December 10, which is International Human Rights Day. - Sapa

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