Mbabane: Civil society under the coordination of the Gender consortium, a gender-responsive structure under the Co-ordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO), are all out to impact many lives of citizens against the ugly head of violence during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.
The localised theme released by United Nations (UN) Women, is “Orange eSwatini: Generation Equality Stands with the Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence Act”, in recognition of the landmark enactment of the SODV Act (2018) which comprehensively aims to address issues of gender-based violence.
Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign beginning every year on the 25th November 2019 to 10 December. It is a call to action to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy, knowledge-sharing and the pursuit of innovative strategies for the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence.
In order to decisively deal with high levels of gender-based violence, more actions are needed against rape, sexual violence, abuse. These in most instances are rooted in patriarchal beliefs, harmful practices of culture as well as power and control, amongst others. These breed the frequency of cases, both reported or unreported, impunity of perpetrators stigma attributed to survivors and silence.
Elimination strategies need to be put in place, prosecution, putting the victim first in ensuring they get assistance after traumatic experiences are needed with psychosocial support and therapy and awareness-raising are some of the actions needed for scale-up. In some instances, the consistent provision of these services is lacking because of inadequate finances.
It’s incumbent on all of us that we need to each make a contribution but staying alert of our surrounding, reporting cases of violence to law enforcement agents, encourage speaking out against abuse and sympathy.
This campaign, pioneered by the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 marks the importance of collaborative efforts towards eliminating gender-based violence, especially against women and children.
Significant international dates
25/11/19 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women;
29/11/19 - International Women Human Rights Defenders Day;
01/12/19 - December 1 – World AIDS Day;
05/12/19 - International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development;
06/12/19 - Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, which is observed as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, and;
10/12/19 - International Human Rights Day and the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
26 November 2019
Commemoration of Street Vendors Day. Though commemorated every year on the 14 November, to give signifiance to incorporating Street vendors'issues, it will be commemorated during 16 days on the 26th November 2019. Contact Women and the Law eSwatini:
Cyber Dialogues on #VoiceandChoice.
27/11/19 | Safe and legal abortion dialogue
28/11/19 | Menstrual health discussion
29/11/19 | Maternal Health
30/11/19 | HIV and AIDS
03/12/19 | Comprehensive sexual education and services
04/12/19 | Child Marriages
05/12/19 | Media as part of the solution
06/12/19 | Sexual diversity
10/12/19 | Pledging our commitments for 2019
For more information, contact:
Ms Ncane Maziya
Eswatini Country Director
Evening Session on Sexual Health and Pleasure at Happy Valley Hotel: 6pm, at a cost E380/ticket. For more information, contact:
District/Regional Street Campaign organised by Women and the Law (WLSA) eSwatini:
Catch street campaigns at towns near you on these dates:
Wednesday 27 November 2019: in Manzini. Convening at 11h30 at WLSA Offices, Manzini;
Thursday 28 November 2019: Matsapha. Convening at Amicaall;
Friday 29 November, Simunye Plaza
Monday 2 December, Piggs Peak
Kwakha Indvodza to run a social media campaign for the duration of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Social media pages to follow:
Twitter | @KwakhaIndvodza
Face Book: @KwakhaIndvodza
For the duration of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign on Gender-based Violence, catch updates on issues that affect young people on choice and decision-making, HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and more run by the CANGO social media programme, IGNITE.
IGNITE is a social media program that targets adolescents and young people through various social media networks including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Our initiative is to create platforms where the youth is empowered to access HIV prevention information and services, and make informed decisions about their lives. IGNITE is part of the Global Fund project, granted through CANGO, which aims to halt the spread of HIV and reverse its impact on the Swazi society by targeting youth aged 15–24 years who are out of school or in college. For more information, visit this link; https://igniteyoungpeople.home.blog/
Social media platforms to follow:
Twitter | @Ignite_Cango
Facebook | @IgniteYoungPeopleSWD
Instagram | @_ignite_cango
For more information, contact Ms Kideo Nhlabatsi at 2404 4721 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Joshua Mzizi Memorial Lecture on Human Rights.
In commemoration of the International Human Rights Day, CANGO in collaboration with the Council of Churches Eswatini to host the Annual Joshua Mzizi Memorial Lecture and the 71st anniversary of the UNDHR after last year’s milestone anniversary under the theme; Stand Up For Human Rights. The event will be held at Hlatikhulu, Mtsambama sports ground. For more information, contact CANGO at 2404 4721: email@example.com
To: All Media
13th November 2019, Mbabane, Kingdom of Eswatini: The Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO) is seriously concerned by the government’s luxurious spending in a crumbling economy and the high level of poverty.
CANGO is an independent Non-Governmental Organisations umbrella organisation who’s over 70 members address development, humanitarian and environmental issues.
Its membership is based on shared principles of democratic governance, transparency and members’ participation and human right-based programming. Its mandate is to coordinate, build capacity of its members, advocate for pro-poor policies and grants management. The Non-Governmental sector remains an extended arm of government in delivering lifesaving services as well as raising concerns of the poor and vulnerable groups.
As a collective of the Non-Governmental Organisations sector, we observed the following:
1. Along-side the whole nation, the NGO sector welcomed the new administration with confidence in resuscitating the ailing economy after the national elections in 2018. This was particularly because we noted that it was guided by the national Vision 2022;
2. We welcomed how the government was alive to the dire economic situation of the country and appreciated how it timeously came up with confidence-restoring strategic framework in the form of the Eswatini Strategic Roadmap 2019-2022 whose five priority areas were: harmonising ease of doing business; fiscal consolidation; Infrastructure, Innovation and Investment; Culture of excellence, and; Social safety nets;
3. His Excellency the Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo led Administration introduced the “Interim financial controls to enhance financial prudence and fiscal management so as to contain expenditure which was spiralling out of control”. These austerity measures: to freeze air travelling through flying first class for economy; freezing the procurement of new fleet and or hiring of cars for Cabinet ministers; suspending utility tariffs increment and the suspension of tendering within government while harmonising the procurement system, were to curb government spending;
4. Government also implemented the zero increase for the Cost of Living Adjustment (CoLA) insisting there was no money.
We are alarmed and concerned about the following developments in the country:
a. That the government proposed taxes and tariff hikes to boost the economy has put strain on tax payers as the 85 cent per litre petrol levy; proposed 15% per unit electricity VAT; income tax (PAYE) increase from 33% to 36% for E250 000.00 and above earners and the reduction of corporate tax is too much sacrifice asked from the taxpayer. Yet in contrast reckless spending continues to be the norm.
Though we have not been totally opposed to tax, we stand by our initial position that over taxation is a burden to the working class who supports many dependents with their salary and sympathise with civil servants whose Cost of Living Adjustment remains frozen while commodity prices, taxes and levies skyrocket;
b. The recent acquisition of vehicles has shocked the nation and the development partners. As NGOs depend on grants from external partners this will affect our resource mobilisation;
c. It is becoming clear to us that the government is actually not aligned to its own policy of economic recovery but that of plunging the economy to a grinding halt with serious consequences to the general populace such as deepening poverty, regress on gains made on HIV/AIDS, weakening of service deliver such as social protection, health, education to mention a few.
Our assessment of the current situation is that unless government spending is human developmental-centred and projects accountability, the needless purchasing of luxury cars and spending on external trips, among other mismanagement of taxpayers’ money, is self-defeating and must be addressed immediately;
d. It is contradictory for the government to be calling for tax compliance from taxpayers when the government itself is out on a shopping spree. This is against the Prime Minister’s statement of November 2018 when coming into office, whereby he assured the country of government exercising fiscal prudence.
The government has failed to deliver but operates on secrecy policy and in total disregard of the rights of the tax payer and its responsibility on spending taxes. We find this not only diminish confidence on not only the tax payer but also of investors and donors as well as the international community at large;
e. This situation is further aggravated by corruption and nepotism undermining the principles of good governance and transparency;
f. Government’s spending behaviour may prompt international development partners to withdraw financial assistance whose grants contribute about 3% of towards the country’s budget and are responsible for saving thousands of lives. It is therefore very much concerning to show a contrasting picture to the outside world to appeal for assistance while spending lavishly, in spite of the health crisis and shortage of medicine, delayed tertiary tuition fees sparking class boycotts and protests as well as the continued freezing of CoLa for civil servants.
Therefore, we call for:
a. The Government to facilitate an open budget system where allocations of all institutions are well documented and subjected to scrutiny by Parliament. The culture of secrecy cannot be sustained as it is the taxpayers’ money that is wasted in luxurious commodities. Every institution should use its allocated budget because the current situation where other institution force government to reallocate funds away from life saving measures like essential drugs, social grants is untenable;
b. Parliament oversight strengthening and Portfolio Committees to implement stiff penalties to offenders;
c. Government, like in 2010 financial crisis, to ring-fence health, education and social protection and social services so that these are not subjected to budget cuts and to freeze hiring more non-critical staff.
d. With the high suicide rate there is an urgent need for rehabilitation services to curb many people going through tough times reaching the point of taking decisions to end their own lives.
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