Capetonian activist and community worker Lucinda Evans has been mentioned as one of the BBC’s “100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019”. Evans is a well known figure in local communities and is the founder of Philisa Abafazi Bethu, a non-profit organisation protecting and empowering abused women and children.
According to the BBC, 100 women were chosen after “the BBC’s 100 Women team drew up a shortlist based on names gathered by them and suggested by the BBC’s network of World Service languages teams.”
“We were looking for candidates who had made the headlines or influenced important stories over the past 12 months, as well as those who have inspiring stories to tell, achieved something significant or influenced their societies in ways that wouldn’t necessarily make the news. The pool of names was then assessed against this year’s theme – the Female Future – and measured for regional representation and due impartiality, before the final 100 were chosen.”
Evans says that the recognition is not about, or for her, but rather for the Cape Flats.
“I want to say that this accolade is not about Lucinda Evans – it is for the Cape Flats. I’m bringing it home to all the women in our country working tirelessly to make a difference in another human being’s life.”
“I want to say thank you to BBC, but I also want to say congratulations to the Cape Flats because one of us is there now.”
She added that she hopes that international acknowledgement and the recognition of her work will amplify the work done by men and women in the country against gender-based violence.
“I would like to use this accolade to amplify all the work we’re doing as women and men against gender-based violence,” said Evans.
“I hope that I will be able to be the mouthpiece for others like myself, men and women, working in our sectors, so we can remove some of the key blockages to resources, support and training in the various communities across South Africa.”
Child commissioner nomination
Addressing her nomination for the post of child commissioner in the Western Cape, Evans said that the post came with immense responsibility and that the chosen commissioner would be tasked with the duty to “change the landscape for children” in South Africa.
The children’s commissioner would be responsible for monitoring and promoting the rights of children in the Western Cape, monitoring how provincial government is progressing with the implementation of child rights, identifying problem areas in child protection and responding to complaints around child rights violations.
“Whoever gets chosen as a commissioner has to change the landscape for children in this country. It’s a position where this person is able to bring about fundamental policy implementation and action. Our policies are good – the implementation is not there.”
Following reports by SABC, the official appointment of the Western Cape’s commissioner for children will be made by March 2020.
“My hopes, as a Khoisan woman, are that we will one day be freed from violence against our bodies, and the bodies of our daughters, sisters, mothers and aunties. I hope that one day we will have a female president. For this, I will continue to advocate and rise in pain to power” – Lucinda Evans as quoted on her BBC 100 Women 2019 profile