Debate on 16 days of no violence against women and children under the theme:
Women’s Economic Justice – towards a non-violent and non-sexist South Africa
Speech by Wayne Thring MP, ACDP Deputy President
As we consider this debate, allow me to quote from Robert F Kennedy, who said, “Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustices, he/she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
Honourable Speaker, within the ACDP, we inherently inculcate an environment and lifestyle of no violence against women, children and the vulnerable among us. For the ACDP and our members, this position against gender based violence is not just a slogan for political point scoring, neither is it a media grabbing slogan, rather, it describes who we are and how we live daily, as we dare to adopt a zero based tolerance for any among us, who would seek to take advantage of those physically weaker than they are.
It is for this reason that the ACDP supports the many “Boys to Men” programmes, which teaches young men that they are valued, have purpose, are filled with potential, that their plans can become a reality, and in the midst of persecution, they must persevere in order to progress towards becoming productive members of society. We must teach young men to use their physical attributes to honour, respect, protect the girl-child and the vulnerable among us.
“Not on my watch, not in my name!”
Sadly, the vast majority of abuse against women and girls is perpetrated by men, in the form of sexual violence including rape and sexual assault as well as systemic, institutional and culture based forms of violence. It is time to stop. Stop the war, stop the battle, stop the violence.
It was Plato who said, ‘Silence gives consent”. In this context, the lack of an appropriate response to violence against women and the girl-child, is a tacit approval of that violent action. We must together say, “Silent no more.”
The ACDP is on record for condemning the violence perpetrated against women and children through pornography. We have consistently said that pornography is the theory and rape, the practice. It is hypocritical to speak out against the act of rape, and sexual violence but not the source. We must be unashamed and bold to go to this source to stop the barbaric and immoral violence against women and children.
As we work towards women’s economic and social justice, we must dismantle the negative narrative of the battle of the sexes. Who created this battle? Who adds fuel to this discourse when clearly we were created equal, male and female.
The ACDP calls on all men to become protagonists and champions of the protection of women and children among us. Let the real men say loudly, boldly and clearly, “Not on my watch, not in my name!”