By Charndré Emma Kippie


Disability Rights Awareness Month: 3 November – 3 December

Each year, our country commemorates National Disability Rights Awareness Month, which links up with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December. The Disability Awareness Month offers an opportunity for us to actively work on removing the barriers that individuals with physical, mental, cognitive, sensory, emotional, and/or developmental  impairments experience daily. It is a chance to reaffirm our commitment to improving the quality of life of those living with disabilities. The Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has launched this year’s theme as: The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke. It’s all about creating and realising an inclusive society upholding the rights of persons with disabilities. 


SADC Malaria Day: 6 November 

An estimated 3.2 billion people are at risk of being affected by malaria, which is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites, transmitted to the human body through the bite of infected female mosquitoes. Every year, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) commemorates its Malaria Day, to garner awareness about the disease and rally the malaria-endemic community to play its part in the drive towards malaria elimination. The theme of World Malaria Day 2021 is: Reaching The Zero malaria Target. Malaria is predominantly found in tropical and subtropical areas, and currently it is Africa which carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. It is vital that our communities participate in malaria control programmes to combat the growing statistics.


World Diabetes Day: 14 November 

The theme for World Diabetes Day 2021-23 is access to diabetes care. Why? Because a centennial after the discovery of insulin, there are still millions of world citizens living with diabetes around the world who cannot access the healthcare they need. Diabetic individuals must receive ongoing care and support in order to manage their condition and heed off complications. The scary reality is that without proper care, diabetics are at major risk of facing blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and/or lower limb amputation. According to the International Diabetes Federation, it is estimated that by 2035, almost 600 million of us may be living with diabetes. This is why World Diabetes Day is essential for educating everyone on the disease and making access to better healthcare a reality. 


Africa Industrialisation Day: 20 November 

As per the 1989 recommendations of the Second Industrial Development Decade for Africa, the United Nations General Assembly historically announced the 20th November as ‘Africa Industrialisation Day’. This commemoration is geared towards mobilising the commitment of the international community to the industrialisation of Africa. This day, in particular, also reminds world citizens that more than 30 of the world’s 48 least developed countries are actually within the borders of the African continent. Industrial development is extremely important for fostering inclusive and sustainable economic growth in African countries. Industrialisation can truly up productivity, and create job opportunities. Thus, this commemorative day is essential for raising awareness on the importance of Africa’s industrialisation, the current opportunities, and the challenges faced by the continent.


World Fisheries Day: 21 November

Fishing communities around the world unite on this day every year in order to highlight just how important water is for sustaining human life and the environment we live in. A range of themes come to the forefront of critical conversations that occur on this day. Human settlements and nearby water bodies,overfishing, mechanisation implications, water pollution, and sustainability are the hot topics amongst these themes. This year, justice for small-scale fisheries is a major concern in sustainable ocean development. We really need to work towards equity in the fisheries space and balancing the ecosystem. Unless we address these concerns all at once, a larger crisis will emerge. We must work towards finding solutions to these increasingly interconnected issues and maintain our fish stocks. 


16 Days of Activism: 25 Nov – 10 Dec  

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign is a UN campaign which takes place annually to move from mere ‘awareness’ to action and ‘accountability’ where violence against women and femicide is concerned. South Africa is plagued by Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF); it is in fact labeled as the ‘destination of femicide’ due to the alarming statistics. During the 16 Days period, Government together with civil society and the private sector will host a series of community and sector dialogues and activities to foster a collaborative effort in dealing with GBVF. We can also work towards the cause by reporting cases of abuse and addressing gender inequalities witnessed within our own communities – we all need to play our part.



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