SASCOC President Gideon Sam has expressed the national governing body's backing for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign ©Getty Images

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has given its backing to the "16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence" campaign.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that begins on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until December 10, Human Rights Day. 

It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. 

It is used as an organising strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

"As the sports movement, we strive to side and participate with movements that concern themselves with respecting the rights of all our communities," SASCOC President Gideon Sam said.

"Sport as a unifier of people must conscientise all participants in our structures that women and children have legitimate rights in our country."

Sam added: "We do not do this because it’s fashionable but out of a deep conviction that sports leaders have a role to play as they work with the impressionable minds of the children in sport. 

"We have issued a comprehensive document that seeks to spell out clearly how National Federations, who are members of SASCOC, should deal with the issues of abuse of women and girl children in our society. 

"We believe that during this special time of paying attention to these issues of abuse, sport must stand up and show that we care. 

"It is the right thing to do to support the efforts of all organisations who are deeply concerned with the matter of women abuse in our communities. 

"We call on all our leaders in sport to be extra vigilant during this time to protect and treat our women who work side by side with men in sport, with respect and dignity."

In support of this civil society initiative, under the leadership of the United Nations secretary general António Guterres, the UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.