Cape Town - Pictures and videos from the Cape Town #TotalShutDown march has started making its way online. The march is where feminists, gender rights activists and members of the LGBTIQ+ community have gathered and will walk to Parliament to hand over a memorandum voicing their complaints.
The #TotalShutDown is to raise awareness against gender-based violence, as South Africa has one of the highest femicide rates in the world.
Among those taking part in the march is DA MP Terri Stander who is part of the women’s committee.
“We are the Minister come out during women’s month with lovely speeches but without any action. What is required is government legislation to be changed,” Stander said.
The organisation is demanding that Parliament form a special unit to deal with gender-based violence.
This includes the establishment of an independent ombud for gender-based violence and a specific enquiry mandate for the SA Human Rights Committee, Commission for Gender Equality and Commission for the Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.
They are also demanding that the school curriculum includes content that informs pupils about gender-based violence and how to prevent it, in a bid to change attitudes.
“We just decided that this has to be stopped and that this cannot be normalised,” previously said #TheTotalShutdown spokesperson Lucy Nomhle Bowles.
Bowles said women had been subjected to heinous crimes for years, and it was time to hold the government to account.
“Women are no longer safe to walk alone without being whistled at by men; we need to start protecting the women in our country,” she said.
Mass marches are expected to take place across all nine provinces, while neighbouring countries Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia will hold their own marches.