16 Days of Activism: ‘The fight against abuse is a societal issue, not a women’s issue’

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni. Picture: Elmond Jiyane / GCIS

Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshaveni. Picture: Elmond Jiyane / GCIS

Published Dec 8, 2023


The 16 Days of Activism period draws to a close, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has laid down the gauntlet for the whole of society to take up the mantle and fight against the abuse of women and children.

In an interview with Magic828’s Steven Taylor, she said the social ill of abuse is not just a women’s issue, but a societal one.

“The challenge of the abuse of women cannot be tackled in isolation only by women, it requires a whole of society approach. It also challenges us as female leaders to ask ourselves what is our contribution and how do we bring the issue of abuse to society.”

Ntshaveni also said the police and courts cannot be blamed for the ongoing scourge of abuse.

“We want to blame it on the police and say ‘why weren’t they there to stop the abuse?’ but how can they be there when the abuse is happening in our homes, it happens in our workplaces... so if you look at the statistics of femicide, it’s mostly women who are killed by men they know, men they are close to. As women in leadership we need to highlight this and look at the importance of teaching our boy children their role in society and keeping women safe.”

Ntshaveni also urged other women in positions of power to take space, stand up and be counted, and to make their voices heard.

“As women in leadership, another challenge is that we are often still seen in the shadow of a man, or seen as someone’s partner, or someone’s other half, rather than leaders in our own right, no matter how high up the ranks we climb. As women in leadership, we need to challenge these notions and demand to be seen for who we are.”

Listen to the full interview here.

Catch Steven Taylor on Magic828, Saturdays between 9am and 12pm.