Congress of Traditional Leaders Organisation of South Africa (Contralesa) president Kgosi Larmeck Mokoena says the country should use this Heritage Month to address social ills such as gender-based violence (GBV).
Reports reveal that GBV statistics have shown an increase since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. Mokoena says women organisations, especially political parties and women professionals, should be seen fighting the scourge of women and children abuse at all times.
In South Africa, September is Heritage Month and this is used to display the cultural diversity that exists and the country’s rich history.
Mokoena says people must use Heritage Month to fight against GBV as no culture encourages abuse. He says the rate of violence against women is alarming. Mokoena says the African culture takes pride in caring for women and children.
“It reminds us to look back and celebrate those good things that made us who we are. We encourage people to visit all Heritage sites in all our provinces and learn about their origin and history. Let us educate their origin and history, let us educate our youth about our heritage and all those good practices”.
Mokoena also appealed to Parliament to amend legislation that deals with gender-based violence.
“Let us not see our NGOs, our women-only protesting when there’s an event somewhere. Let this be done for the whole twelve months. The fight must be sustained so that we show the seriousness against gender-based violence. Men must not be spectators when all this happens. We call upon Parliament to amend this legislation that deals with gender-based violence to come up with something harsher so that it teaches a lesson to all those who want to continue in violating the right of our women”.
Heritage Month also celebrates tourism and encourages visiting heritage sites. Mpumalanga has one of the sought after world heritage sites in Barberton which is the Makhonjwa mountains. Mokoena has encouraged locals to take advantage of Heritage Month by visiting such destinations in order to revive the ailing tourism sector which was hard-hit by the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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