Miniskirts paralyse Johannesburg

2012-02-17 20:18

Johannesburg - Parts of central Johannesburg came to a halt on Friday afternoon over miniskirts.

The ANC Women's League led a march to the South Gauteng High Court against sexual harassment and gender-based violence after two women were hassled at a taxi rank.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe signed a memorandum of understanding at the court, pledging that the justice system would support efforts to curb violence against women and children.

The ANCWL decided to hold the march to highlight its indignation over the treatment of two young women who were chased by a group of men at Noord Street taxi rank in December.

The men groped and shouted at the women because of their clothing - one wore a miniskirt and the other had her bra strap showing.

Radebe said those who told women what to wear were not freedom fighters.

Struggle for freedom

"The struggle for freedom has always been the struggle for human rights, the struggle for women's empowerment."

He said he came out in support "because I like miniskirts", amid laughter and loud applause from the crowd.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said no one could enjoy human rights while women and children lived in fear of potential abuse.

The taxi industry in particular needed to join the fight against sexual harassment.

"It is their duty to respect human rights... taxi drivers, taxi commuters: no one should allow violence against women and children," she said.

"As women, we are proud of our bodies, we are proud of our miniskirts."

Minister of Women Lulu Xingwana said the march was in support of the women's movement and gay rights.

"No one has the right to [commit] corrective rape. Rape is rape."

Xingwana threatened that the Noord Street taxi rank would be closed if the situation did not improve.

"Real men don't rape women, real men love and respect women," she said.

She said the women's league would work to free the streets of South Africa of sexual harassment, city by city.

Second march planned

Another march would be held in Sunnyside, Pretoria, on the evening of March 8 to spread the message.

ANCWL president Angie Motshekga thanked all those who came to support the cause.

"Women have the right to dress how they want to dress, forward with miniskirts!"

The miniskirt march began at Bree Street taxi rank at about 13:30 under the watchful gaze of a heavy police contingent.

Mokonyane, Xingwana and one of the Noord Street victims led the march.

Xingwana wore a skirt, but it was not a mini.

The crowd sang "when you strike a woman, you have struck a rock" and chanted "Viva miniskirts, Viva".

The women's league was joined by the Congress of SA Trade Unions and Women and Men Against Child Abuse for the march.

The Commission for Gender Equality also pledged support for the sexual harassment awareness event.

Proudly shook their bottoms

Women and several men wore miniskirts for the march, and proudly shook their bottoms for the assembled news cameras.

As they sang and danced, they waved ANC flags and banners, such as "I am proud of my miniskirt", and "Freedom for miniskirts in our lifetime".

People watched and shouted their support from the high apartment blocks in the city centre.

A marcher who carried her son for the length of the route said she had brought him to teach him from a young age the importance of respecting women.

Men who watched the procession had mixed reactions. Most said they supported the initiative and chanted along with the crowd "Viva Nkosikasi [women], Viva!".

"Everybody has rights to wear whatever they want," said one.

One man said he was not convinced the miniskirt march was the best way to tackle the issue.

"We like to see the young women in the minis, but the old ones - Ag, shame!"

  • Irene - 2012-02-17 20:24

    There's Vegi in the picture! Hello Veg ....

  • Sganja - 2012-02-17 20:48

    I was there,Sjoe I enjoyed watching the legs of these beautiful girls and women. Ancwl please organise another one...

      mzeke.ramoroka - 2012-02-17 21:03

      most of them where obese, I cant find beautiful in obese...

      Hugo - 2012-02-18 08:12


      Mike - 2012-02-18 13:19

      I have never seen such hideous fat legs on mass.

  • Grant - 2012-02-17 21:20

    I'm a white middle aged male who loves the mini (providing the woman has got the legs for it). However, haviing lived in a few African countries I've learnt that black Africans are opposed to even partial female nudity in pubic ;).When do you see black women in bikinis on the beach? Their culture should be respected (when in Rome...)

      nthabiseng.priklopil - 2012-02-17 21:56

      Grant, black traditional clothing showed lots of "flesh". Have you had of thithana. Please google!

      Silvana - 2012-02-18 07:14

      @Grant. You seem to be stuck in the old philosophy that women should be "barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen". The shape of a woman's body is very subjective. Some like them lean, some like them plump. I support the ANCWL wholeheartedly. African women really have a raw deal and this just could be a start of uplifting them from the status of having to walk behind a man.

      Wayne - 2012-02-18 07:33

      Eh, Grant, the majority of the women who took part in the protest were black..............and by all accounts they were not forced to wear mini skirts. Let them decide what they want to wear and if htey wish to respsect "their" culture or not.

      Hugo - 2012-02-18 08:14

      there is something called umhlanga in Swaziland,google it *grins*

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-02-18 13:02

      You really are middle-aged. Take a trip to Soweto soon.

  • Leendert - 2012-02-18 02:19

    @Grant - Except that 'we' (whites) ARE in ROme and in OUR home at the same time. Does not mean I have to do what 'they' do.

      Hugo - 2012-02-18 08:14


  • Dennis - 2012-02-18 05:25

    Having seen Nomvula Mokonyane in a mini skirt, I have to go and get my eyes tested again today !! Nomvula doll ...... NO !!

      Hugo - 2012-02-18 08:16

      you dont have to be nasty,we all have opinions about other people but we keep them to ourselves,unless ofcourse you are perfect...

      Jacqui - 2012-02-18 11:29

      Hugo don't be a sourpuss. Big thighs and mini skirts do not go together.

      Hugo - 2012-02-18 13:41

      Jacqui I assume you are a bombshell,if not STFU

  • Adam - 2012-02-18 07:44

    Wonder why showerhead wasnt there,he is just too sexy for his skirt.

  • Hugo - 2012-02-18 08:11

    I Love those mini things,viva our mini-skirted oussies

  • Zion - 2012-02-18 08:27

    Back to the days of Twiggy Bailey.

  • Coral - 2012-02-18 10:55

    These women make me proud - there is NO color discrimination here just a bunch of strong women making a stand for what they believe in. This is the kind of thing we need in our country!!!!

      Silvana - 2012-02-18 12:53

      @Coral My sentiments exactly. If I could give you 1000 thumbs up, I would.

  • Jacqui - 2012-02-18 11:27

    Maybe the big thighs astounded them. Wasn't Radebe a genius?.Such brilliant words. I mean 'those that tell women what to wear are not freedom fighters' It left me speechless. To play the clown you don't need a red nose.

  • Sarel Brits - 2012-02-19 07:05

    Like the wise man Trevor Noa said “thoses black spots on the knees” yo yo But seroisly its a free "one part" contry Viva Mini Viva

  • crystal.gillam - 2012-12-24 13:54

    Why do people have security fences, secured estates, patrols, security services, lock the cars, close the windows and hold handbags tight as they can? Because we protect our goods! If you want to display them then expect to lose them. Why is rape so high in the black culture now, when years ago the numbers were far less...because woman had some respectability and dressed with a little conservation. Now you throw it all out there like common cows and expect not to be hurt? It is disgusting to see little tops on fat sows that just make it past the dark nipple, the fat black flab hanging over the pants (muffin tops) while she schleps her fat body along....(well all I can say is that black men are either very blind, very desperate or very drunk to want that anyway) but be it as it may, regardless of colour, you should not display what you do not want to sell. Someone is always going to be buying and it may not be at the price you want either. March, sing and means nothing at all. In so many ways I respect the Muslim laws. South Africans do not have pride, we have cheap. Buy a bigger shirt, skirt, something that fits. Get some dignity and be safe. Just because it is wrong to steal does not mean people will not do it - we prevent it by security. Secure yourself and stop whining. I have no doubt some flipping mental case (I am so lonely, desperately lonely unattached, cant find a boyfriend type is behind this march) No descent man wants his goods displayed.....

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