Women release black balloons to mark end of 16 Days campaign

2015-12-11 09:15
Members of the public wearing black release balloons at the Royal Showgrounds yesterday to make a stand against the abuse of women and children.

Members of the public wearing black release balloons at the Royal Showgrounds yesterday to make a stand against the abuse of women and children. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Scores of Pietermaritzburg women dressed in black dotted the Royal ­Showgrounds’ main arena yesterday morning to mark the end of the 16 Days of Activism.

The 16 Days of Activism is an international campaign to end the violence against women and children across the globe.

Yesterday, the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business marked the close of the 16 Days by handing out black balloons to the women who had gathered at the main arena.

The small crowd released helium balloons in remembrance of all the women killed at the hands of their partners.

Chamber CEO Melani Veness said the turnout had been good.

“We want this to be the start of an annual stand that women in the city take against gender violence here in Pietermaritzburg,” she said.

“We hope that this will not just inspire women for the 16 Days, but for the rest of the year.

“We want women to be active in removing the vulnerability in other women, and for all of us to stand together.”

Veness thanked all the women who participated for joining the PCB in empowering women and taking a stand against gender violence.

She said the balloons, that were tied to cardboard handles by string, would not be left to float into the sky as it was not “environmentally friendly”.

Instead, she said they would be handed out to children at children’s homes in Pietermaritzburg.

“When these are handed out to the children and they see the balloons are all black, hopefully they will ask why and we can tell them about the 16 Days of Activism,” she said.

“We want children to ask questions from an early age so they know at a young age that violence against women is unacceptable and wrong.”

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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