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Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo has lined up a number of activities to help broaden the impact of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign.

City Parks backs 16 Days of Activism campaign
Community members at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign at Reiger Park in Ekurhuleni. (Photo: www.gov.za)

Soweto residents are invited to attend a candlelight ceremony at Thokoza Park from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday, 4 December. The ceremony will highlight the tyranny of gender-based violence and ways of combating it - while commemorating the life of Nelson Mandela, who passed away on 5 December 2013.

The City's public parks will also serve as sites of activism during the 16 Days campaign, which runs every year from 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, through to 10 December, International Human Rights Day.

President Jacob Zuma, speaking at the official launch of the campaign at Reiger Park in Ekurhuleni on Tuesday, 25 November, said: "We are building a society where the women and children are safe at home, at school or at work, a society where children play safely outside and where women walk freely in the streets, without fear of attacks.

"This is the society that the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children hopes to achieve."

The theme for this year's 16 Days campaign is "Count me in: together moving a non-violent South Africa forward".

"This year, we are reaching out to men and boys," President Zuma said, calling for greater participation in the campaign by men, while urging "young men and boys as well to commit themselves to become activists against gender-based violence".

Citizens are encouraged to take action and support the campaign by wearing a white ribbon during the 16-day period, participating in the various 16 Days of Activism events and activities, volunteering in support of NGOs and community groups who support abused women and children, and making donations to organisations working to end violence against women and children.

"While the international campaign is marked for 16 days, we urge all South Africans to ensure that this becomes a campaign for all 365 days of the year," President Zuma said.