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SA Women’s Month is traditionally a time when we pay tribute to the more than 20 000 brave women who marched to the Union Buildings, on 9 August 1956, in protest against the country’s pass laws which mandated that South Africans defined as black carry an internal passport, known as a pass.

In the years since then, this commemorative day has evolved. In addition to maintaining the spirit of what Women’s Month first represented, we have also seen women from all walks of life being celebrated for a range of achievements – in the workplace, in the home, and in other parts of society.

When COVID-19 hit our shores, and we entered into two years of lock-down, the focus on women shifted again. This time, to conversations around the ‘second pandemic’ of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).

“As we commemorate Women’s Month again this year, we need to turn our attention to the perpetrators of this stain on our society and encourage each other to play our parts in ending GBVF in our lifetimes,” says Lindi Dlamini, CEO of the GBVF Response Fund.

What SA may not know, and is urged to pause and consider, is that:
• A man kills a woman every three hours in South Africa.
• Every eight hours a man kills his intimate partner.
• Today, one in three men reading this will rape a woman.
• Men raped 11 315 women in the last three months of last year.
• SA has the highest rape rate in the world.

“Being on the side-lines is being an enabler of GBVF. We ask the men of South Africa to not be that guy – to take a stand, rise up to change and join the fight against GBVF,” concludes Dlamini.

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Date published: 02/08/2022
Feature image: Lindi Dlamini Ceo Response Fund

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