The Nelson Mandela Foundation has called on South Africans to commemorate Women's Day by examining how they individually and collectively contribute to the perpetuation of violence against women.
We need to examine ourselves and ask the difficult questions: how do we contribute to the problem? How do men and women consciously and unconsciously reinforce gender inequality and how have we as a society failed women, the foundation said in a statement.
The foundation said it will use its flagship Annual Lecture series in 2017 to focus on gender inequality which will create a space for a national dialogue on dismantling patriarchy and enabling the creation of a more equal as well as just society.
Many difficult questions and conversations must take place and we have to create spaces for these conversations to happen.
It is no longer enough to say that we are opposed to violence against women. Now is the time to act, the foundation said.
It called on all South Africans to heed the late Nelson Mandela's words in his first State of the Nation Address in 1994 when he said: Freedom cannot be achieved unless the women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression.
The foundation said South Africans must unite to end all violence and oppression against women and we must commit ourselves to dismantling the culture of patriarchy that underlines our society.
Source: South African Government News Agency