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Ending Violence against women and girls; Youth as agents of change

Ending Violence against women and girls: Youth as Agents of Change

Violence against women and girls has been described as one of the most wicked, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

I’m from a community where women, young women and girls are violated every day, where young women would have to undergo in public, traditional virginal checkups every year, where they would be denied physical access to church, community gatherings if their menstruating, where they will be denied access to customary courts of law if they wore trousers and don’t cover their heads. Where women and girls has to lie down and hide their faces if men passes which again exposes them to risk of been physically and sexually violated. These are just amongst the few that women in particular young women and girls are been put through.

Minister Mbalula, shared in the latest news that female prisons are full of mothers and their own daughters who committed an act of violence which for some led to murder of their fathers, grandfathers, husbands and brothers who abused them continuously, he emphasized the need to help this women as majority of them needs emotional healing.
There are good policies in place that are set to protect women’s rights; the challenge is that the implementation is too slow to reach the vulnerable and the marginalized. Policies are meant to protect us, but more needs to be done to speed up the process, the legal systems needs to be reviewed, because perpetrators are walking free and violating women further, in South Africa quarter half of men population has raped at least on woman and still Justice system has not found an action point on how best to deal with this?

Government needs to:
• Increase efforts to eliminate gender equality through effective investment and implementation of programmes that address the root causes of violence (ie gender equality and discrimination, situational violence in cases such as conflicts, disasters and poverty.)

• Implementation of effective prevention strategies like recognizing the importance of education in challenging prevailing gender stereotypes and culture of violence that exists in many of our communities

• Establish programmes targeting girls and boys within the formal education system
• Community education and behavioral change initiatives focused on reaching the broader community
• Educate girls and young women on Human rights and empower them to claim their rights
• Young women needs to be part of decision making in particular looking at SRHR matters

Young women as agents of change

Through civil society movement like YWCA, Asibavikele etc,

• Young women and girls have been mobilizing communities through training and skills building opportunities and campaigning on human rights based programming.
• Young women and girls are advocating for change through implementation of key global commitments focused on realising the human rights of women and promoting peace and security.
• Young women leaders (which were a delegation from all countries within Africa) presented a Statement at the AU on the future young women wants and particularly addressing Violence against women as a major barrier to women claiming their space.
• Youth organizations through YWCA are partnering for impact through strateging collaboration and network to violence against women, young women and girls in its many manifestation

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