‘End gender-based violence’ — Cosatu takes to the streets on Women’s Day

2017-08-09 14:05

Today as the country celebrates National Women’s Day, the Congress of South African Trade Unions are holding various marches nationwide to raise awareness against the scourge of gender-based violence.

In a statement released by the union, Cosatu said that despite the various legal frameworks in place such as the Domestic Violence Act, femicide and other atrocities linked to gender-based violence are on the rise.

“We are deeply concerned and horrified by the fact that perpetrators are mainly intimate partners known to all family members or public figures who understand the laws of this country,” the trade union said.

Cosatu also spoke of the LGBTI communities and the hate crimes which are inflicted upon the LGBTI communities daily, including corrective rape, “which undermines their constitutional right to their private life and right to choose how they relate to fellow human beings”.

In the North West, Cosatu marched to the Klerksdorp Police Station earlier today, where a memorandum of demands was handed over.

“The community of North West, including the working class and the poor, will not stand on the periphery and leave the criminals to reign,” Cosatu in the North West said.

Speaking to City Press, Cosatu North West organiser Kopano Konopi said that they are calling for harsher action against perpetrators.

“We are marching to raise awareness against the scourge of gender-based violence facing our society. There has been an escalation of violence and due to the inability from authorities to prosecute perpetrators this violence against women and children continues,” Konopi said.

In Limpopo, Cosatu decided to take the march to rural areas in order to raise awareness about gender-based violence.

Toekie Kgabo, provincial administrator told City Press that too often women are accused of being in the wrong when a man attacks or rapes her. “We handed over a memorandum to the police at Tubatse Praktiseer Police Station because we would like the police to treat our women with dignity. When they come into a police station late at night to report something, they question why the woman was walking late at night to begin with,” Kgabo said.

She argues that women should be allowed to go wherever they please, without becoming a victim.

A memorial lecture is currently being delivered at the Ba-Tubatse Primary School on the late trade unionist Emma Mashinini who was instrumental in fighting for the inclusion of women leaders during the founding of Cosatu in 1985.

In Gauteng and the Western Cape, Cosatu called for the maximum conviction of perpetrators, with mostly female Cosatu members protesting outside Greenpoint police station.

Female members of Cosatu lead a march in Gauteng today, against gender-based violence. PHOTO: TWITTER/@_COSATU
Community members in Cape Town are calling for their streets to be safe so that women and children aren’t victims of violent crime. PHOTO: TWITTER/@_COSATU
Provincial Secretary of Cosatu Limpopo Gerald Twala delivers a memorial lecture on the late trade unionist Emma MashininiPHOTO: Toekie kgabo/cosatu
Cosatu march-community members march in LimpopoPHOTO: Toekie kgabo/cosatu

Avantika Seeth
Multimedia journalist
City Press
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May 20 2018