Sex workers and LGBTQ community left out of '16 Days' conversation - activists

One Billion Rising South Africa is an activist group set to host talks on survivor inclusivity this coming Friday.

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CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has been called on to explain why he's left LGBTQ+ persons and sex workers out of his anti-GBV action plans.

One Billion Rising South Africa is an activist group set to host talks on survivor inclusivity this coming Friday.

This is the 30th year the world has observed the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence campaign, but activists believe South Africa's sex workers and queer community have been left out of the conversation.

Lucinda Evans, One Billion Rising SA co-ordinator, said the scourge of this violence does not reserve itself to only one sector.

"We should have 365 days for all persons, all bodies. Sadly, the LGBTQ community is in the mouths of the politicians as an afterthought.

In partnership with Philisa Abafasi Bethu and SWEAT (Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce), the group is currently working to expand their LGBT shelters.

In 2019, the president also made promises to up funding for survivors, but Evans said to date, they've never seen that funding.

"Let's ask the president: where is the billion promised to make our work easier on the Cape Flats? Where is the fiduciary responsibility to ensure we have safe spaces?"

A group will be gathering in Steenberg, Cape Town this Friday to mark the close to another 16 days campaign.