Picture: Facebook

Cape Town - On August 1, the start of women's Month in South Africa, women from all sectors of society will join together to shut down the country in protest against gender-based violence.

The organisers of The Total Shutdown: Intersectional Women’s March Against GBV have been mobilising women on social media for months in preparation for the marches which they have planned to take place simultaneously in every major city across South Africa. 

While the #TheTotalShutdown protest is intersectional and all LGBTQIA+, differently-abled persons and races are invited to participate, the Facebook and Whatsapp groups are for women only.

For weeks now women have been sharing their personal stories and why they are participating in the march in the closed Facebook group. The stories and the women behind them prove that gender-violence knows no race, economic class or religion.

"We have nothing to celebrate. Every week we receive multiple reports of women who have been brutally murdered, kidnapped, or abused and there is no sense of urgency from our leaders to find ways in which society can tackle this violence. Women, children, gender non-conforming people (GNC) and the LGBTQIA+ keep dying at the hands of men in South Africa and something needs to be done. This is a national crisis. We call on all women to stay away from work and join the protest on the 1st of August 2018 in their respective provinces, universities, and colleges," the organisers said. 

Women from Botswana and Lesotho are also expected to participate in the shutdown. A memorandum of demands will be handed to government after the march.

For more information on the marches, visit the open Facebook page.

IOL