Government has launched Human Rights Month in Dimbaza, outside Qonce, in the Eastern Cape, ahead of the Human Rights Day celebrations later this month.

This year’s Human Rights Month is commemorated in honour of the struggle stalwart, Charlotte Maxeke.

The theme is: “The year of Charlotte Maxeke: Promoting Human Rights in the Age of COVID-19”.

To mark the launch, both men and women took a walk around the streets of Dimbaza township, emphasising the importance of human rights, especially those of women and children.

Raising concern over millions of women who still feel marginalised and unsafe due to the high rate of gender-based violence and femicide in the country, they called on government to address the scourge.

The government has committed towards improving its systems to advance the fundamental rights of all South Africans.

Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, says government will intensify its efforts to promote equal rights, thus reflecting the values of human rights activist, Charlotte Maxeke.

“We celebrate Ma Maxeke because her life story appeals to the country and our people and broader SA society as it undeniably transcends party politics and celebrating Ma Maxeke is also part of our Liberation Heritage Transformation agenda, noting that the narrative still remained patriarchal and male dominated. Therefore, this honour is in sync with our transformation agenda.”

Minister Mthethwa also weighed in on recent name changes of geographical landscapes in the province, saying it is part of restoring the human dignity to indigenous people.

“The recent transformation of the heritage landscape is part of the process for restoring human rights. The renaming of the East London Airport to King Phalo is part of those efforts because who is East London? We don’t know but we know who is King Phalo,” he said.

The Human Rights Day will be celebrated on the 21 of this month in Duncan Village, near East London.

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