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Girls & Women

South Africa Women's Month Kicks Off With Protests Against Violence


Why Global Citizens Should Care
Gender-based violence disproportionately impacts women, children, and gender non-conforming individuals in South Africa. You can take action here to help speak out against violence and achieve gender equality.

It’s time for South Africa to walk the walk.

At least, that's the message organizers of countrywide protests condemning violence against women, children, and gender non-conforming people want to send out at the start of South Africa Women’s Month, reported News 24.

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"We have nothing to celebrate on August 9," said the organizers of #TheTotalShutdown in an interview with News 24, referring to the date commemorating National Women’s Day in the country.

"Every week, we receive multiple reports of women, children, and gender non-conforming people who have been brutally murdered, kidnapped, or abused, and there is no sense of urgency from our leaders to find ways in which society can tackle this violence."

Organizers have called for support from South Africans in whatever way they can: joining in protests, avoiding working, or avoiding spending money for the day. Marches will take place in all nine provinces, as well as in Lesotho, Swaziland, and Namibia.

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Among the 24 demands that will be distributed in literature at the marches, organizers are demanding that the president not appoint any officials who have been implicated in gender-based violence.

The Department of Women is marking Aug.ust 1 as a day of mourning for victims of gender-based violence, and join activists in their call for the violence to stop.

"To mark the start of Women’s Month, we call on all South Africans to join the national moment of silence .... during lunch time,” said Bathabile Dlamini, Minister in the Presidency Rresponsible for Women, Bathabile Dlamini. “We urge both men and women to wear black clothes and form a human chain on the streets in front of their offices, homes, or social places to remember women and children who are victims of violence."  

South Africa's femicide rate is five times more than the global rate, noted CNN.

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According to a report by Africa Check, the global figure for femicide in 2015 was 2.4 per 100,000 women, compared with South Africa's rate of 9.6 per 100,000 women.

The movement is being shared across social media under the hashtag #TheTotalShutDown.


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