Greetings to allFIGHTING AGAINST WOMEN ANDAS Umzimkhulu Municipality, we would like to join millions of South Africans in declaring violence and abuse of women and children a crime against humanity.Violence against women and girls is rooted in gender-based discrimination and social norms, as well as gender stereotypes that perpetuate such violence. The recent spate of gruesome murders of girls and infants has had a devastating effect on girls, women and society in general, and must be rejected by all.As a municipality, we must never tolerate crime; the crime against women and girls must be stopped now. We must do everything legal to prevent it from happening and address its root and structural causes.Prevention must entail supporting the implementation of the laws, policies and programmes that place a strong focus on the promotion of gender equality, women’s empowerment and their enjoyment of human rights.Working together as leaders, women, girls, men and boys, we must accelerate progress in preventing and ending violence against women and girls. We must raise awareness and support community mobilisation through traditional forms of communication, including the mainstream and social media. The “Not in My Name” campaign must be part of our daily lives. It must be a collective responsibility and an obligation of both men and boys to prevent and end violence against girls and women.Working with religious leaders, traditional leaders and communities, we must change the social norms and harmful practices, and must acknowledge and act against gender injustices. Government too, must ensure that the children are protected and make available all the institutional functions to give security to children. Abuse of children through child labour is illegal and we have a responsibility to monitor the labour market and ensure that this is abolished. Some of these abuses are more domestic whereby the closest family members are perpetrators.