’SA women have nothing to celebrate as they’re maimed and butchered by men daily’
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Johannesburg - South African women have nothing to celebrate on Women’s Day, said a non-profit organisation who hosted a virtual protest yesterday (on Monday).
“We, the women of South Africa, have nothing to celebrate. We have nothing to celebrate when our sisters are daily maimed and butchered by South African men,” said The Embrace Project, regarding Women’s Day.
On August 9, South Africans celebrated 65 years since the greatest women’s mobilisation in South Africa. The 1956 march to Union Buildings in Pretoria saw more than 20 000 women from different racial and economic groups demanding the end of apartheid pass laws that targeted women.
The Embrace Project, which combines art and advocacy to raise awareness and funds that support organisations combating gender-based violence (GBV), held a virtual protest called #NoCauseForCelebration, calling on all women and allies to protest instead of celebrating Women’s Day.
“In honour of our fallen sisters, and the 20 000 South African women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 for our freedom, on Monday, August 9, #wethewomenofsa call on all womxn and our allies to protest instead of celebrating. We protest because we have #nocauseforcelebration,” the Embrace Project said on Monday.
The organisation called on women to protest the lack of political will displayed in combating GBV and femicide (GBVF) despite the introduction of new legislation, the Emergency Response Action Plan and the GBVF Response Fund.
“As the rate of GBV in South Africa continues to soar, it is evident that despite legislative reforms, and the Presidency's Emergency Response Action Plan to address the violence, the government and its institutions lack the political will to reduce, let alone eradicate, the threat to the lives, and the enjoyment of life, of every South African woman and child,” the organisation said.
As part of the protest, women were encouraged to share protest placards on their social media platforms by tagging The Embrace Project, The Presidency and President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as other GBV organisations. The organisation also issued an open letter to the Presidency.
“Rahima Moosa, Sophia Williams, Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph and 20 000 South African women did not march on the Union Buildings for a South Africa that promises equality, freedom and security of the person, and freedom of movement, to only half of its population,” the letter read.
The organisation added that South African women were not free or equal.
“Even in our beds we are not safe, Mr President. Every South African woman knows a woman, and every South African woman has imagined what she would do when that day comes. When her turn comes. That is not a way to live, Mr President. We, the women of South Africa, are alive but we are not living.”
The letter was attached to a petition and by yesterday (Monday) afternoon, the petition was signed 5 533 times.