Act Against Abuse - 16 Days of Activism Around the country, South Africans are being called on to combat violence against women and children. For the 10th year, SA is taking part in the global 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women campaign, which runs from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) through to International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
South Africa is still home to high levels of violence against its women and children, despite a world-renowned Constitution and a legislative overhaul that safeguards women's and children's rights.
The government, business, civil society organisations, state-owned enterprises, faith-based organisations and the media are all participating in the drive to increase awareness of the negative impact of violence and abuse on women and children.
The campaign also aims to:
South Africans are urged to support the campaign by wearing a white ribbon during the 16-day period to symbolise their commitment to "never commit or condone violence against women or children, and to speak out about violence where they see it."
People can also pledge their support to the campaign by signing the 16 Days Postcard and e-mailing it or posting it free of charge at any post office. Each card signed and collected will raise R1 for the campaign. E-cards can be selected, customised and sent from here, while postcards can be collected at any post office or multi-purpose community centre.
South Africans can also help by sending an SMS with the words "16 Days" to 31616. Each SMS will raise a further R10 for the campaign.
All money raised will be forwarded to the Foundation for Human Rights, which will channel it to organisations that support survivors of violence and abuse.
Other ways of supporting the campaign:
South Africa, according to non-governmental organisation Gender Links, needs to close the gap between the "rhetoric of gender equality" and the "reality on the ground".
Gender Links says the country has made impressive strides in recognising the roles and rights of women and children.
The Constitution recognises gender equality as the cornerstone of South Africa's democracy, and new legislation - such as the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act and the Domestic Violence Act - have been lauded for enforcing the rights of women.
But more needs to be done. "Changing laws can be swift," says Gender Links. "Giving them effect, and changing the mindsets that often render them ineffective, is a much more demanding task."