ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Sactwu members stand up against gender-based violence by protesting at Gunners Circle in Epping. Picture: LONWABO MARELE
Cape Town - Factory workers came out in their numbers, taking turns during their lunch breaks to raise their voices during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

A Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) initiative saw hundreds of workers across the country building human chains and protesting on public roads to raise awareness.

On Gunners Circle, facing Jakes Gerwel Drive, Sactwu members held up placards, and shouted “enough is enough”.

Shireen Pharo shop steward at Levis Strauss said: “This is important because this is what factory workers experience on a daily basis because we are mostly women. We need to break the silence, people are sitting in factories with many problems going on.”

Sactwu member Richard Mvoto said he was “disgusted” at men who abused women.

“A real man will never rape or harm a woman or child. Men who do these things must rot in jail,” he said.

“We are products of our mothers who are women. Women deserve to be respected and protected.”

Sactwu member Natasha Dreyer added: “We want people to see that we want the abuse to stop. There is too much crime and it looks like no one is doing anything about it, hopefully if we can do more awareness, it will stop.”

Anthea Morris said physical abuse was no longer the only forms of abuse faced by women.

“Men know they can go to prison if they get caught so they find other ways like financial and emotional abuse and it hurts the same,” she said. “The things they say don’t stick to your clothes they hurt inside and you start to believe it.”

Sactwu spokesperson Sheila van Rensburg said there was no sympathy in the workplace for victims of domestic violence.

She said: “Very often it is our members who are the targets, women and mostly our children who cannot speak for themselves.

“Our members have decided they cannot handle it anymore. Cases are reported, nothing comes of it."

Van Rensburg said their activism would not end here.

They also submitted a petition of 5000 signatures to management at the Elsies River police station calling for something to be done about the plight of women and children in the community.

“We want action (from) the police, the City and government to come together and work out a plan,” Van Rensburg said.

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