CAPE TOWN - An Eastern Cape teenage girl was jogging along a beach in Port Alfred when an armed man attacked and sexually assaulted on Monday.

He raped her at knifepoint and fled with her cellphone. Swift response by police and security guards resulted in the arrest of a 19-year-old suspect.

This attack and many like it are a reminder that despite initiatives such as government's 16 Days of Activism campaign, gender violence persists and much more needs to be done to address it. The 16 Days of Activism campaign kicked off on Monday.

On Sunday, student Precious Ramabulana was found dead in her room off-campus and had apparently been stabbed 52 times. It is also suspected that she was raped before she was killed, but that has not been confirmed.

Earlier this month, Luyanda Botha was handed three life sentences and five years with no prospect of parole for the rape and murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana. The crime took place at a Cape Town Post Office branch in August.

In a separate case, Jesse Hess, a 19-year-old UWC theology student, and her grandfather, Chris Lategan, were found dead in their Parow flat, in Cape Town, in August. The two men implicated in the murder of the UWC student and her grandfather will spend Christmas behind bars as court proceedings are yet to be completed.

David van Boven - a relative of the slain 19-year-old - and Tasliem Ambrose were, in the Bellville Magistrates Court last week. They each face two charges of murder and two of aggravated robbery.

Two months ago, government promised to make R1.6 billion of funding available towards programmes to tackle crimes against women and girls.

Tens of thousands have rallied across the world to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, as France unveiled new measures to combat domestic violence.

Demonstrators on Monday gathered in countries as diverse as Guatemala, Russia, Sudan and Turkey, where riot police in Istanbul blocked the path of roughly 2,000 protesters before firing tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse them.

South Africa has one of the worst records of any country on gender violence and the government has faced several rounds of mass protests on the issue.

President Cyril Ramaphosa used Monday's events to launch a campaign to improve victims' access to justice and urge men to drop their "sexist and patriarchal attitudes".

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The UN warned that more action was needed around the world, singling out Afghanistan as a country where too little is done to counter sexual violence and rape.

And in a rare move, global police cooperation agency Interpol launched an international appeal to find eight men suspected of murdering or committing violence against women.

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