Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Collective effort can create greater awareness of cyberbullying or any violence against women, says acting government spokesperson Nomonde Mnukwa.

“Through our collective effort, we can create greater awareness of cyberbullying or any violence against women especially and bring perpetrators to justice. Often people are reluctant to report such cases but I want to encourage you to do so through the SAPS Crime Stop (Tip-off Line) [on] 0860 010 111,” she said on Friday.

Mnukwa who is also the acting Director-General of the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), was speaking at the fourth annual Women in Media and Communication panel discussion focusing on the cyberbullying of female journalists and online gender-based violence.

She told those attending the session at the TUT Pretoria Campus that the gender-based violence pandemic is felt at all levels of society.

“Young and old, rich or poor, all races – we are all not immune. In our time, we have made our voice heard and continue to do so against such injustices. However, we need the voice of the youth to be louder, we need to change the landscape, it is our responsibility, it is in our hands,” she said.

She urged young people to use the resources at their disposal to ensure the safety of women.

“We may be focussing on cyberbullying today, but we know that the attitude that we see on social media towards women is just an extension of what happens in homes and communities.”

She said the effect of online violence or cyberbullying can be devastating, leaving the targeted person feeling hurt, humiliated, angry, depressed or even suicidal.

“I want to remind you today that you about the power that we possess as women and as youth, we change environments, we move mountains, we are unstoppable. You are not powerless if you are a target of online violence and abuse.

“Save the evidence by capturing the social media post, voice note, image or video for use as evidence should you ever need it. As you may know, social media websites are also doing their part to keep the spaces free of abusive content.”

Responsibility

Turning her attention to government communication, she said government communicators have a responsibility to provide on time, credible information as prescribed in the constitution.

“It is our responsibility to communicate to South Africans about issues that are pertinent in their lives – ranging from providing empowering information, progress on government commitments and key developments, most importantly in the languages that they understand. It is also our responsibility to communicate about South Africa in the continent and the world at large.

“Coming closer to today’s theme, it is part of our work as government communicators to empower citizens like yourselves with information on where to report acts of abuse of any form especially cyberbullying.

“We need to work in a very ethical, responsible, accountable ways. In a world of misinformation and fake news, these professionals are the gatekeepers of truth. Fake news and misinformation is rife in cyberspaces.”

She added that communicators and journalists have a critical role in countering false narratives, dispelling myths, and ensuring that citizens receive credible information.

“By doing so, they empower the public to make informed decisions and actively engage in the democratic processes. Being a government communicator comes with great responsibility. Similar to journalists, upholding high levels of integrity, ethical standard is paramount, as their words and actions have the power to shape public opinion and influence decision-making processes.

“As students, you represent the future of this nation. Whether you aspire to become government communicators or pursue other paths, the value of effective communication cannot be underestimated.

“By developing your communication skills, you contribute to building a more informed, empathetic, and united society. Embrace the power of dialogue, listen to diverse perspectives, and cultivate the ability to convey your thoughts clearly and respectfully,” she said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

By spadmin