Statement issued by Thandi Nontenja, UDEMWO Secretary General

The country is marking another 16 days of abuse against women and children but the battle is far from being over. As the United Democratic Movement Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO), we feel that nothing much has been done to successfully combat the problem.

If women are still petrified in their own homes and communities, it shows clearly that there is something wrong with our society. Every day there are reports of women being raped, assaulted and murdered and in most cases the perpetrator is someone the victims knows. What is more saddening is to see a culprit walking free due to lack of evidence. We are calling upon the hand of justice to be punitive to those found guilty of these inhumane acts.

Also the quietness of the department of women adds more sadness to the pain. The department is not paying more attention on matters affecting women and only interested in marking these days as governmental events. We find ourselves asking what the department for women really championing if it is failing on its mandate.

Violent acts against women and children take place throughout the year hence the call by the UDEMWO for 365 days of activism.

We would also like to encourage more men to take part in campaigns that are to protect women and fight against violence towards them.