Cape Town - South Africa's tradition of solidarity with those fighting for human dignity, equality and freedom was on display on Saturday when a women-led collective marched in opposition to US President Donald Trump.
In solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington, which had hundreds of Sister Marches around the world, about 500 people marched from the Company’s Garden to Parliament, protesting policies which threatened decades of international gains made in attaining human rights.
The march also drew attention to issues in Africa that needed to be addressed, including gender equality.
Aspiring human rights lawyer and co-organiser of the march Coline Bruintjies said marginalised communities all over the world were experiencing similar issues of discrimination, and it could never be acceptable.
“South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, but like with many things, it’s how it’s implemented. Until we reach a point where people in poor townships are enjoying those rights and promises, we still have work to do.”
Organisers expected 200 participants, but were pleasantly surprised by the turnout, co-organiser Meetali Jain said.
“We’d like to see this momentum sustained and result in something concrete.”
Demands in a manifesto expected to be handed to parliamentary officials today include: That Trump and SA President Jacob Zuma submit to calls for women’s rights to be respected, protected and fulfilled, in and beyond US borders; and that women have access to the best standard of health including women’s sexual reproductive health and rights.
“We stand in solidarity and unity with our sisters and allies globally because we, as women, men and children in South Africa, identify with their struggles which mirror our own continuing struggle for women’s human rights to be respected, protected, and fulfilled and for the attainment of gender equality,” the manifesto read.