“For the sake of Valencia Farmer… Anene Booysens… and every victim and survivor of sexual violence…” the UN Goodwill Ambassador began in her personal plea.
The call to action from the former Eurhythmics singer is highlighting a number of recent and widely publicised rape and murder crimes in South Africa
Lennox argued in her statement that the country has an “outstanding legacy of activism that is renowned all over the globe”, and was confident the same action could be taken to end violence against women.
“These events weren’t simply miracles that occurred by themselves. It took collective effort, courage and vision to achieve those goals,” she argued, referring to the end of Apartheid in 1994.
“Nineteen years since the end of Apartheid in South Africa, and there are still many obstacles and challenges to be overcome. Many people feel fatigued and disillusioned. They don’t believe anything will change for the better. They have lost faith in politics and the criminal justice system, and are despairing of false rhetoric that offers empty promises without delivery.”
“But the problems will never go away by themselves. It will take the same strength of focus and purpose to create lasting and impactful transformation,” Lennox said, adding that she felt, “It is achievable”.
“We believe that gender violence CAN and MUST be tackled. We need to create a tipping point of collective awareness and action to make it happen.”
The petition is being targeted at everyone from those working in the media and civil society, urging them to make a commitment, “to take personal and professional responsibility to become a part of the change”.
“Together we can all bridge the gap between the victims, survivors and solutions,” visitor to the official website are told.
“We implore you to promote the efforts of organizations working to ensure the issue of gender- based violence is never marginalized again. It is vital that you play your part in making the change.”
80 organisations have already lent their support to the cause by signing the petition, including: The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory (Nelson Mandela Foundation), Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Medecins Sans Frontiers, Treatment Action Campaign, Amnesty International South Africa and CTAOP (Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project).
Visit www.annielennox.com for more information.