“Stand up and say enough is enough”.
This was the message passed on to women and men who attended the Women’s Day breakfast hosted by the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies.
The breakfast was attended by 500 women at the Church of Resurrection last Wednesday August 8.
Jessica Dewhurst from the Justice Desk, a non-profit organisation which fights for human rights, said women were the pillars of strength of the community and must stand up against human rights injustices.
Ms Dewhurst formed part of the panel of speakers who addressed the audience on the day about pivotal issues affecting not only women but children and men.
She said that every six hours a child in South Africa goes missing and urged parents to be vigilant and aware of their children’s whereabouts.
Ms Dewhurst continued to say that women have so much power and are always at the forefront standing up against injustices.
“Women are always the ones who stand and protest outside of court, and stand up when things go wrong in society,” she said.
She said South Africa was a human trafficking hot spot.
“Be aware, we know what is happening in our communities so report it and be alert. If someone offers your child a job and it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Do your research,” she said.
Chairperson of the Bonteheuwel Walking Ladies, Soraya Salie, said the event provided a platform for women to support each other and highlight how many of the women had overcome challenges such as domestic violence.
She said that many women did not know that their children were entitled to maintenance from their fathers and ended up battling financially or knocking on doors for food and money.
“Why are we still being suppressed as females? We endure not only physical but emotional and mental and even financial abuse. When a father chooses to withhold child maintenance, he is financially abusing you.
“Fathers need to step up and take care of their children,” she said.
Ladovica Gordon, the Cape Flats group leader for the Child Maintenance Difficulties in South Africa (CMDSA), also gave the women advice about how to go about filing for child maintenance.
The CMDSA is a non-profit company and was established four years ago to provide single parents with the support and advice they need when claiming for child maintenance.
Ms Gordon also advised the women not to prevent the child from seeing his father if the father refused to pay.
“The relationship between the child and father remains important and is a lifelong bond. Children are clever and they understand everything that happens. Also, do not speak ill about their fathers to them,” she said.