People urged to act responsibly during the holidays

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has appealed to the public to act responsibly over the festive season and beyond.

“Wherever we are during the holidays, please let’s be sensible. [Coronavirus] doesn’t know it’s the festive season, so wear your mask, sanitise, keep your social distance and always be mindful of others who may be more vulnerable than you are when it comes to health issues,” said the commission’s chairperson, Tamara Mathebula, in a statement on Tuesday. 

While the commission’s offices will remain closed throughout the country until 4 January 2021, Mathebula urged the public to continue to use its toll-free number 0800 007 709, the GBV Command Centre Number 0800 428 428 and the SAPS Stop Gender Violence number 0800 150 150 to report cases.

Mathebula said the year 2020 placed great emphasis on the Coronavirus pandemic, and gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF), which President Ramaphosa described as the second pandemic.

“The pandemic-induced economic crisis also laid bare the deep gender inequalities in the workplace and society, and the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women and young.

“The year 2020 brought with it adjustment to a digital world of Zoom/Microsoft Teams meetings and working remotely. We made friends with this “new normal”, basically fast tracking the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR),” Mathebula said.

Mathebula took the opportunity to wish the nation a merry Christmas and peaceful New Year.