The Total Shutdown: Intersectional Womin's Movement Against GBV at WEF Africa. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency(ana)

Cape Town - Various advocacy groups and student organisations rallied together to stage protests on Wednesday around Parliament and outside the World Economic Forum on Africa, to address gender-based violence (GBV).

Wednesday morning protests started with a silent protest being staged at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). Total Shutdown: Intersectional Womin's Movement Against GBV spokesperson Zintle Olayi revealed that the group didn't organise the protest but that it was united effort from many student organisations and civil advocacy groups.

Olayi revealed that protesters started clashing with police as they didn't have a permit for their silent protest, and in response "they were threatening protesters throughout".

"It is very traumatic, and as we were being threatened by cops, women broke down in tears. The main agenda from SAPS was to remove us, but we didn't go there to cause any harm or maliciousness., We just wanted to draw attention to the fact that we're are being murdered and killed."

Uyinene Mrwetyana, Jesse Hess, Leighandré Jegels, Janika Mallo, Lynette Volschenk and Meghan Cremer were all recently murdered as a result of femicide. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency
The Total Shutdown protest comes following the recent headlines of violence against women and children in the country. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

Zintle Olayi: "Our bodies are disposable. Walking to the post office is a threat. Where are we going to be safe if we aren't even safe in our own homes?" Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

"Every three hours a women is killed," Olayi said. "Our bodies are disposable.

"Walking to the post office is a threat. Where are we going to be safe if we aren't even safe in our own homes? 

''The government needs to do better and take us seriously, instead of having coffee and discussing things. Discussing things isn't working. We want a state of emergency," Olayi said.

Protesters thereafter then left the CTICC and marched to Parliament where they joined UCT students and others who were staging a protest over the violence against women. Many are taking a stand in the hope that there will be tangible change.

"I feel like we are also tired, because we've been doing this and we will protest again, but what must we do? Must we start retaliating and treating men the same way that they are acting towards us?"

"Men see us as the enemy, they don't respect us, they want ownership of our bodies. Even the fact that a man must protect other men for me to be safe speaks to the toxic masculinity in our society," Olayi said.

"I just want to be safe, and want to walk around whenever without worrying about what a man is going to do. They need to do better. Something needs to change. Conversations aren't helping. We talk, we talk, and talk but then nothing happens."

The Total Shutdown protest was among several protests and marches are planned for Wednesday including one to Parliament, and petitions are doing the rounds calling for stiffer sentences and even bringing back the death penalty. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency
Uyinene Mrwetyana, Jesse Hess, Leighandré Jegels, Janika Mallo, Lynette Volschenk and Meghan Cremer were all recently murdered as a result of femicide.Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency.
Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency
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