24 November 2010
The United States Mission to South Africa has organised a number of activities in support of this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign, including free performances of the one-act play We Are Here by American actor Antonio David Lyons.
The play, comprising 16 sketches expressing the diversity of male voices within the issue of woman and child abuse, is supported by the US Consulate in Johannesburg, and runs at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein from 25 to 30 November.
All performances are free, although donations will be accepted. The doors open at 7.30pm, with the show beginning at 8pm from Thursday to Saturday. Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday performances are at 3pm.
From 28 November to 7 December, US Minister in the United Church of Christ and founder of the FaithTrust Institute, Rev Marie Fortune, will be taking part in discussions on the role of faith and community leaders in ending gender violence. The events will be held in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The US Embassy Pretoria’s Political Working Group will host a meeting focused on gender-based violence on 2 December. The embassy is inviting panelists from civil society and government to address questions concerning the causes of gender violence in South Africa and strategies for eliminating it.
USAid also funds a number of projects aiming to root out gender-based violence, including Brothers for Life, which aims to reduce violence by encouraging changes in gender norms and personal behaviour.
Another project is the Greater Rape Intervention Project, which operates 26 facilities in Mpumalanga province and offers services to survivors of rape and abuse, many of them children from communities with minimal infrastructure and police protection.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention South Africa and the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief are also collaborating with the South African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union and the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union to raise awareness of the connection between gender violence and HIV transmission through a workplace campaign.
This year marks the 11th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign for No Violence against Women and Children in South Africa.