Anglican Women’s Fellowship (AWF) condemn Gender Based Violence
On 18 October 2019, The Anglican Women’s Fellowship notes with deep dismay the ongoing violence against women in South Africa and Globally and therefore have taken to the streets to campaign and showcase their commitment in full support of ending violence against women.
According to the World Health Organisation, “statistics suggests that nearly one in three (35%) women worldwide have been exposed to physical abuse and/or sexual abuse by an intimate partner. Gender Based Violence is happening at a much higher rate even in our back yards and yet it is underreported.
“Let your voice be heard, refuse to be silent,”
We, as the AWF acknowledge that the voice of women survivors is almost not heard. Keeping silent is what most women and young girls including children do after they have been violently attacked, harassed or forced to do a sexually related act against their will. Subsequently, we are aware that finding your voice as a woman requires support and encouragement and therefore the AWF will continue with advocacy work to speak out for those who have lost their voice and dignity.
The recent media reports on the rape, kidnapping and murder of several women and girls represent the small portion of the daily suffering of thousands of women and girls globally. We applaud others who speak out against all forms of violence and oppression.
Speaking up will motivate others to speak
Through this campaign, we are encouraging women to break the silence by sharing their personal experiences. We endeavour to create a culture from which the dignity of each person, created in the image of God is seen, respected and honoured. AWF is encouraging café conversations within and outside the organisation from which safe and non-judgmental platforms will be created, making sure that affected women and girls within our spaces are understood and supported.
Provide information and address the root causes
Gender and social norms are believed to be fueling violence against women. The AWF calls for effective prevention strategies and thus will continue to work with organisations that focus on early childhood development to help challenge gender stereotypes and harmful traditional practices. We will continue with men and women empowerment programmes that will assist with transforming attitudes towards girls and women that perpetuate violence against them.
Provincial President of The Anglican Women’s Fellowship