ANC Women's League members display a banner during a march. File picture: Bongani Shilubane

Johannesburg - The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) young women's desk said on Tuesday it will march alone and will not be joining the #TheTotalShutdown march against violence against women and children.

''On August 1, the young women’s desk along with the women across the country will be taking a stance against gender-based violence to address this threat to our freedom,'' the ANCWL said in a statement 

"As per the wishes of the organisers of the #TheTotalShutdown march, the young women’s desk will be marching separately due to the 'disallowance' of our participation in paraphernalia.

''It is important to state and reiterate that our participation as the young women’s desk seeks to reinforce the voices of all South African women affected by violence and chooses to do so in their partisan identity. 

"Our efforts should be fixated on the struggle against gender-based violence which is a possible reality for every woman regardless of their partisan identity. ''

Organisers of the nationwide #TheTotalShutdown march have vowed to bring the country to a standstill next month to highlight the scourge faced by women and children. The march will see women and non-gender conforming individuals march, excluding men. 

Mpiwa Mangwiro, Regional Campaigns and Advocacy Specialist at Sonke Gender Justice, said: "On the 1st of August every woman is encouraged to march peacefully in protest of violence and impunity that is continually meted against women in this country. They should march to make their voices heard as women in South Africa say enough is enough, we cannot continue being killed, raped, trafficked and abused, and It is time the government took decisive action to address violence against women (VAW)."

The organisers were highly critical of last week's #100MenMarch organised by the Government Information Systems (GCIS).

#TheTotalShutdown spokeswomen Ntsiki Skosana told the men at the Union Buildings that they were ''marching against themselves''.

''We did not march with you because you continuously try to pacify us and have symbolic branches of government such as the ministry of women that blames victims for the situation they are in. We did not march with you because your intersectoral 100 men march is not intersectional,'' she said.

August is observed as women's month in South Africa. 

The ANCWL said it would this week announce the details of its march set for the beginning of August.

African News Agency/ANA