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16 Days of Activism to focus on plight of lesbians

This year's 16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women and Children will cover challenges faced by lesbian women, including so called 'corrective rape'.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

24th November 2011 09:05

Alessia Valenza

This year’s 16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women and Children will cover challenges faced by lesbian women, including so called ‘corrective rape’. Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana announced this in Parliament yesterday.

The campaign is to be launched in Atteridgeville outside Pretoria on November 25. Making the announcement, Xingwana highlighted that this year’s campaign will cover challenges of attacks on lesbian women. She said, “We’ll seek to raise community awareness about the need to address so-called corrective rape and murder of lesbian women.”

The minister went on to point out that such rapes and murders are a violation of lesbian women’s constitutional right to sexual orientation. Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance (DA) spokesperson on police, Dianne Kohler-Barnard, has accused the government of failing to practice what it preaches.

She says while the government is claiming to prioritise the protection of women and children, its actions are not showing that. Kohler-Barnard was taking part in the Parliamentary debate on the 16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women and Children.

She says although there is legislation in place for the protection of women and children, it is not being implemented effectively. In her address to Parliament, the DA representative argues that there is a huge disconnect between saying, year after year in Parliament, that “we honour the 16 Days of Activism.”

She says, “Not with the 56 000 reported sexual offences last year where 28% were committed against children, which means 77 children were sexually violated everyday.” Kohler-Barnard says 42% of all sexual offences committed were specifically against children.