Reclaim our streets

2017-11-23 06:00
Women marching during a similar event in 2016ke The Night

Women marching during a similar event in 2016ke The Night

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Hundreds of women are expected to participate in the annual ‘Take Back The Night’ march taking place in Gugulethu on Friday evening.

Organised by Ilitha Labantu, the march co-incides with the start of the 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Children Campaign, which will launch the following day, Saturday.

Ilitha Labantu spokesman Siyabulela Monakali said the march symbolizes the community taking a stand against the violence perpetrated on women in the communities.

“The annual Take Back The Night March always takes place during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign.

“We have had over 450 people from various organizations who have confirmed that they will be part of the march,” he said.

Monakali added that the Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has confirmed that he will be joining the march.

“He feels strongly about our cause,” Monakali said.

The march, which will start from 6PM, will build up from various points in the area before converging at the Gugulethu Sports Complex.

Meeting points are: Shell Garage, Ny 3A, marchers will proceed down Steve Biko Road (NY1) to Gugulethu Sport Complex, second point will be the Fawu offices, also on Steve Biko Road at the corner of Ny 1 and Ny 110, and then to the Gugulethu Sports Complex

“Join us as we take a stand against the abuse of our women and children and the violence plaguing our communities.

“We believe that it is through our collective action that we are able to bring the much needed change in our communities,” said Monakali.

Meanwhile a national dialogue titled Faith and Religious Responses on violence against women is currently underway at the Fountains Hotel in town.

“As evidence regarding the effects of violence against women and girls in the townships and in rural areas steadily increases, there has been a national recognition of the importance of improving responses to and prevention of all forms of violence against women,” said Monakali.

He said the organisation that has been actively involved in the promotion of women and children’s rights and addressing violence against women and children for over 28 years.

“We believe that faith-based organizations (FBOs) and the religious sector are influential actors in society. Recognizing that domestic violence survivors often turn to their religious and places of worship for support, guidance and even refuge during times of abuse.

“ Their presence in local communities, coupled with their capacity to deliver critical services, allow them to mobilize grassroots support, earn the trust of vulnerable groups, and influence cultural norms – all of which make them vital stakeholders in development,” he explained.

He said they are envisioning a community where safe families and peaceful communities can flourish.

“Ilitha Labantu is committed to working in collaboration with the diverse faith communities to create and strengthen their response to gender and family violence.

It is in this regard that Ilitha Labantu feels that faith based communities need to play a greater role in addressing the scourge of violence against women and girls and in helping survivors to speak out.


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