South Africa: On 9 August each year, South Africans commemorate National Women’s Day to honour the 20,000 women who marched on the Union Buildings in 1956 to protest against an unjust system. This move represents just one part of a passionate activism by and for women that has always been a part of South Africa’s history.
Today, women’s organising – and indeed organising by people of all genders – plays a critical role in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV). South Africa has among the highest rates of GBV in the world, and violence against women and girls, and homophobic and transphobic violence are particularly prevalent. As women, girls and gender non-conforming people who live in this society, we live daily with the knowledge of our vulnerability. This knowledge is one we don’t leave behind in our activist work. Our vulnerability and our own trauma – as well as our strength and resilience – inform our work and our lives. Working in close proximity to GBV, the very thing that threatens our safety, brings with it daily reminders of our vulnerability, and the vulnerability of our sisters, children, partners and friends.
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Source: Safer Spaces and Gender Joint Fund