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The Gauteng government has urged mothers and teachers to look after girl children and give them the necessary support in order to avoid social ills like teenage pregnancy, substance abuse and human trafficking.

The call was made during a Women’s Dialogue held at Moroka Hall in Daveyton.

The dialogue, which was part of Women’s Month celebrations, was attended by the Gauteng Department of Social Development, together with the provincial Health Department, Ekurhuleni Municipality and Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs).

Speaking to women and girl children, Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza stressed the importance for mothers and teachers to teach young girls about gender based violence and various social ills affecting women.

“This month we are celebrating the freedom that women in 1956 fought for, and as we empower women, there are young girls who need to learn the values of being a woman.

“We need to also teach our girl children to refrain from ‘blessers’. Your blessers should be your parents,” said MEC Mayathula-Khoza.

She encouraged school going children to refrain from drugs and acquire as much education as they can.

MEC Mayathula-Khoza had earlier in the day visited a shelter for abused women, Theodorah Ndaba Shelter, where she met eight abused women, who are now being empowered with skills to start a new life.

The Gauteng Department of Social Development funds more than 2 500 NPOs, such as Sechaba Community Care and Ithemba Rape and Trauma Centre, to deal with issues that affect women and offer them counselling. - SAnews.gov.za

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