November 25th, marked as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, has been a time to address and redress socio-political challenges that women across the globe still face today. Closer to home, we have the 16 days of Activism against Women and Children and both these awareness’s seek to achieve the ideal

The day is aimed at raising awareness of the injustices that women around the world face in the form of domestic violence, rape, educational exclusion and other human rights violations and forms of systemic oppression.

In addition to this, the day is also an opportunity to address, highlight and ultimately reform the consequences of discrimination of women in the legal, economic and social systems within each society and understand the origin of the current state of women in the world. The realisation of Women’s Rights is not an act that should be exclusive to women alone; it should be a collective effort from both men and women working together to eradicate and change the way people of different genders relate to each other.

Both International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 days of activism against Women and Children campaigns, require us to imagine alternative masculinities and not on the part of women but on the side of all men, especially those who are allies of the liberation of women.

It is imperative that we teach respect across genders from an early age in order to transform the way men have been conditioned to relate to the bodies of women and how that mentality manifests itself through hyper masculinity and ultimately abuse in all forms. Let us preserve and protect our most valuable resource (The mothers of civilisation) and unite in creating a new wave of thinking and attitude that allows us to appreciate our mothers, sisters, aunts, wives and grandmothers, while ushering a new generation who’s image of women isn’t restricted to a household.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) stands in solidarity against the violence against women and call for all our members and the working class internationally to recognise and value historic contributions made by women in the liberation and socio-political transformation of people in the globe.

“Wathinta abafazi wathint’imbokodo“