Young people in the rural village of Dlangezwa are using the day’s celebration to highlight their plight.
The scourge of abuse, gender-based violence and youth unemployment are just some of the challenges they’re facing.
Some cases of gender-based violence, child molestation and other forms of abuse perpetrated against young women do end up in court because their families accept compensation from offenders.
This is a concern raised by some maidens and their matrons attending a youth celebration at Dlangezwa in eMpangeni on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast. Young maidens also said they about being targeted because they’re virgins.
Shocking GBV and unemployment stats
According to recent crime statistics around 900 women were killed in the country between January and March this year.
“If I hear children being killed, I worry if I will be next. GBV needs to be stopped. It’s one of the things that make the living very hard in our society”, says Mesuli Gumede who is a maiden.
Matrons have encouraged parents of the victims of gender-based violence not to accept compensation from the offenders but to report such matters to the police stations.
The celebration also helped conscientize youth with available opportunities in education and employment opportunities.
According to Stats SA’s first quarter figures, 63.9 percent of young people are unemployed.
“We are here to encourage them to take care of themselves and what they should do if they’re abused and equip them to get into business. As we know that our economy is not growing at the pace at which we would like to grow, so they must emerge”, says Umhlathuzane Municipality Mayor Xolani Ngwezi.
The youth called for stricter laws to protect them.
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