Men and women from various govrnment departments and NGO's marched through the streets of Rustenburg in North West to violence against women. Photo: Molaole Montsho

Rustenburg - Men and women braved the blazing heat to denounce violence against women in Rustenburg, North West on Wednesday, as part of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

The march, led by the SA Police Service mounted unit, started at the taxi rank and snaked through major streets as a blaring siren from a fire engine drowned the voice of marchers as they chanted "Enough is enough" and "No means no", while the waved placards with various messages.

Luan Snyders, a councillor in the Rustenburg municipality who took part in the march, said he was standing with women in their plight.

"Women's rights are not being heard, children rights are not heard, they are left out in an era whereby rape has increased, murder upon our young people has increased especially young women. I joined the march to show that I am in with the young women and I stand with them during their plight," he said.

A report from UN Women, United Nations' organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, estimated that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. 

It is estimated that of the 87 000 women who were intentionally killed in 2017 globally, more than half were killed by intimate partners or family members.

The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organising strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

African News Agency (ANA)