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UNICEF address at 16 Days of Activism Imbizo

Johannesburg, 7 December 2017: From the 25 November to 10 December, South Africa, along with much of the global community, commemorates the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign.

Working with key partners in Government and civil society, UNICEF South Africa works to ensure that the campaign also focuses on the welfare and protection of children, who are often also the victims of gender-based violence.

As part of ongoing efforts to hear the voices of ordinary people on this critical issue, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) of the Government of South Africa hosted an open forum, known as an “imbizo” (meaning “forum for discussion” in Zulu) in Soweto.

As a working partner of the DPME, UNICEF was invited to participate in the Imbizo by giving a presentation on the work being done both in South Africa and globally by the organisation as well as fielding questions from the public. In addition to UNICEF, presentations were delivered by representatives of the DPME, the National Development Plan and the NGO Sonke Gender Justice.

During the lively discussion period, questions were posed to the panel on a range of issues including the need for men and boys to be more involved in such campaigns to ways in which stigma and discrimination against women can be challenged.

In his remarks, UNICEF South Africa Communication Specialist, Sudeshan Reddy, emphasised the global nature of the campaign and the commended the South African Government and the country’s vibrant civil society for working tirelessly to end violence against children. While the statistics are indeed concerning, events such as the Imbizo are a clear example of “democracy in action” noted Reddy. 



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