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"We need to come together to protect our women"​ '16 Voices in 16 Day Campaign'​

We are proud to introduce our sixteenth voice in our “16 Voices in 16 Days” Campaign against gender-based violence!

Rutendo, Jenna, Logan and Shalom are Youth Ambassadors representing Holy Cross High Schoo. The Justice Desk’s Youth Ambassadors are incredible young changemakers from various high schools who are known as 'Everyday Activists', using their voices to stand up for the rights of other children.

The Justice Desk believes in the power of the everyday person, especially in their ability to create lasting, impactful and effective change in their communities! Through this campaign, we hope to both raise awareness to #GBV, but also to unite and inspire others in order to take action within their own spaces. Ending GBV is not the fight of some, but of us all!

Let us never forget to recognise the incredible power that we as South Africans have, when we come together, to make a change.

By amplifying these 16 remarkable changemakers, we hope to inspire YOU in contributing YOUR own thoughts and voice, as we unite in solidarity in the important fight against gender-based violence.

“Gender-based violence is a pandemic. It roots itself in the most vulnerable of places and spreads like wildfire. One of the main reasons that GBV is so prominent in countries like South Africa is because of cultural stigmas. The belief that women are weak, vulnerable and beneath men is what makes the rate at which GBV occurs that much higher. Patriarchy is a disease that needs to be eradicated. It is the reason why feminism is so longed for. The idea that women should be ruled by men because they are perceived to lack physical power is what makes male dominance so prominent in today's society.

Change starts with the youth. If young people are not educated to respect and honour women and children for the amazing, capable and beautiful human beings that they are, GBV is going to be a never-ending war that generations after us are going to have to battle. We need to fight for our women and children, this country needs to fight for our women and our children. Women are not safe in public spaces, in government buildings or even in their own homes. We can no longer allow our country's inadequate, under-resourced and ill-equipped frameworks to fail our women and children any longer.

The Justice Desk believes that it is going to take a large amount of dismantling and challenging of our own beliefs before the violence experienced by women and children are truly diminished. But it can be done! Knowledge is power therefore, knowledge about GBV can pave the way for justice.

We can and will contribute to ending GBV by educating ourselves; raising awareness in our communities; empowering women and girls; educating men and boys; changing the very gender norms and societal attitudes that degrade and discriminate against our women; transforming the system that benefits men over women; advocating; taking a stand and supporting NPO's who are working each and every day to end GBV!

Speak up and speak out. Silence is deadly and it is something we need to shatter. We need to break the cultural beliefs, gender discrimination and stereotypes, and social norms that pave the way for GBV to continue. We need to come together as one and protect our women and children, otherwise, this country will continue to suffer. We are everyday activists so if we don't win today. You can bet that we will fight again tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that. Until this country is no longer soaked in the blood and tears of the women and children it has failed.”

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