For Immediate Release: 23 January 2018
To: Editors and Reporters
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) welcomes the arrest of 9 people on charges of abduction and human trafficking of a 14-year-old in Idutywa, Eastern Cape. The abducted girl was forced into underage and unlawful marriage. The Commission through its work has ensured that the perpetrators of this heinous crime were arrested and have appeared at the Idutywa Magistrate Court, today.
“In line with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the CGE respects cultural freedom and choice. However, the abuse of cultural practices and symbols at the expense of women and girl children is totally condemned,” said Ms. Lulama Nare, the Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality. It is important for South Africans to note that no cultural and religious practices supersede the Constitution and cultural and religious practices should conform and be practiced within the ambit of the constitutional values and ethos.
The Commission is calling on the citizenry not to be complacent when it comes to the abduction and marriages of underage girls. The CGE has been vociferous in calling for an end to underage marriages. As reported by Statistics South Africa, 91 000 00 underage girls are abducted every year. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this scourge. It is also equally worrying that Eastern Cape in the same report is rated third behind KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng when it comes to underage marriages. It is therefore incumbent upon us all to be vigilant and work closely with the South African Police Services (SAPS), NPA, the HAWKS and other likeminded institutions in ending this scourge.
Underage marriages are not only a women rights violation and harmful traditional practice but also, they rob these girls of education and their dignity. Of greater concern is that they are sexually groomed at best or at worst raped by their abductors.
The Commission calls on South African men and families to distance themselves from this culture of forcing underage girls into forced marriages. The CGE believes that this arrest is a reinforcement of Constitutional values and principles, in accordance with international and regional treaties on gender equality. garažo vartai, plastikiniai langai Vilniuje, balkonų stiklinimas ir plastikinės durys http://neolangai.lt/plastikines-siltos-durys/
The Commission for Gender Commission will be monitoring this case and if called upon will gladly avail itself to make a presentation on the matter.
The Commission is also cognizant that the are many more cases of this nature throughout the country going unreported due to many factors. We implore families and communities not to break the laws that prohibit underage forced marriages. The marriages of underage girls are crimes categorized under trafficking of persons, abduction and rape. These are serious crimes punishable by the law that are being committed against our girls. Please use Toll-Free Number 0800 007 709 to report cases of underage forced marriages or any gender related violence.
Date: 23 January 2018
Contact Person: Javu Baloyi
Tel: 083 579 3306
The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.