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We want our voices heard, say #TotalShutDown marchers

Women groups, LGBTI organisations activists and civil society organisations have come out in their numbers to join Wednesday’s march.

Women making their way to the Union Buildings in Pretoria during a #TotalShutDown demonstration. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of women from different sectors of society are now making their way to the Union Buildings under the #TotalShutDown banner.

Women groups, LGBTI organisations activists and civil society organisations have come out in their numbers to join Wednesday’s march.

They’re expected to hand over a memorandum of demands to the seat government.

Their calls include the establishment of a multi-stakeholder and comprehensive process to address and reduce gender-based violence.

A woman says she's part of the march to make her voice heard.

“It’s time, as women, we get together, and stand up and say this is unacceptable… this is not right, and we’ll not stand for it.”

Another added: “We’re hoping this initiates something to be done from the government side so that their policies actually protect women against abuse.”

In KwaZulu-Natal, hundreds of women have been gathering at Curries Fountain for the Durban's leg.

One of the women organising the KwaZulu-Natal leg of Wednesday’s #TotalShutDown march, Ncumisa Ndelu, says the show of unity is one of the biggest indicators that these issues should remain top of the agenda.

“We have women from different political affiliations, women from different religious organisations and women from different NGOs. They stand for different things whenever they come from, but today they’re here wearing black and a touch of red like we asked them to.”

There are three marches planned across the province, with the one in Durban another in Pietermaritzburg and the third demonstration in Newcastle.

Some of the prominent women joining Wednesday’s march include poet Gcina Mhlophe and KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)