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Johannesburg - The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Friday it stands with scores of women and non-gender conforming people expected to embark on a nationwide march next week against gender-based violence in South Africa.

"Gender-based violence violates the fundamental rights enshrined in our Constitution, especially the right to equality, dignity and freedom.The commission urges all South Africans to recognise the constitutionally-entrenched right to protest peacefully, acknowledging how this right is inextricably linked to other rights in our Constitution," the organisation said.

"The commission calls on the government to implement its obligation under section 7(2) of the Constitution to particularly vindicate women’s rights to life, dignity, equality, bodily integrity, freedom of movement and freedom from violence. 

"The commission further calls on the government to take immediate and decisive steps to address violence against women in South Africa in order to ensure that all women enjoy the right to live in a country that is not harmful to their health or well being."

The #TotalShutdown march is planned to take place across the nine provinces on August 1. Organisers said the country's major cities will be shut down to highlight the scourge of violence against women and children.

Trade union organisations such as Federation of Unions of SA  (Fedusa), SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) have also pledged their support. The ANC Women's League (ANCWL) said earlier this month that it would march alone and will not be joining the #totalshutdown marches after organisers banned it from taking part.

African News Agency (ANA)