Pledging to stop GBV

2019-09-17 06:00
Learners and staff from the four campus schools X Wynberg Girls’ Junior School, Wynberg Boys’ Junior School, Wynberg Girls’ High School (WGHS), and Wynberg Boys’ High School (WBHS), spell out the word ‘stop’ on the school grounds.

Learners and staff from the four campus schools X Wynberg Girls’ Junior School, Wynberg Boys’ Junior School, Wynberg Girls’ High School (WGHS), and Wynberg Boys’ High School (WBHS), spell out the word ‘stop’ on the school grounds.

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The Wynberg Campus of Schools gathered to show their support for putting a stop to violence against women and children on Thursday 5 September.

The four campus schools Wynberg Girls’ Junior School, Wynberg Boys’ Junior School, Wynberg Girls’ High School (WGHS), and Wynberg Boys’ High School (WBHS) attended a joint assembly to show solidarity against gender-based violence (GBV). Staff and learners, wearing all black, stood together to spell out the word “stop” on the school grounds and to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of victims.

Head students of both the high schools readout pledges on behalf of all of the learners to show their shared commitment to the #ItStartsWithMe movement.

“Where there is injustice of any form, we pledge to right it with justice, without violence. Where there is hatred, intolerance or discrimination, we pledge to work for acceptance and harmony. Where there is abuse of women, children or anyone unable to speak out, we pledge to give them a voice,” said Dillon Sibanda, head prefect at WBHS.

FemSoc, a society at WGHS which focuses on protecting women’s rights, called a meeting the next day to draw up a plan to further drive the Campus of Schools’ collective action against gender-based violence.

Among the resolutions made at the meeting, was the learners’ refusal to remain silent about demeaning treatment, language and behaviour by men against woman.

The spokesperson for FemSoc, Zahra Noordien, Grade 11, said society members had resolved to support each other in countering behaviour, language and “jokes” which contribute to the problem.

They undertook to participate in programmes to educate others and to increase their own understanding by having conversations, listening attentively and reading widely.

The plan to create ‘a wall of remembrance’ dedicated to women who were raped or murdered was also tabled.

Dee Cawcutt, principal of Wynberg Girls’ Junior School said, as a campus, they believed that they needed to teach their boys and girls respect for all people, regardless of gender, race, colour or creed.

To create ongoing awareness, the four schools will observe a minute of silence on the first Monday of each month.

“We encourage our immediate and surrounding community to stand with us, and the rest of South Africa, as we fight this scourge of violence in our society and look for solutions for a brighter future for all,” Cawcutt said.

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