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Breaking the silence: 2019 - the year SA women stood up against GBV

Between protests, social media campaigns and the elevation of voices - women joined together to demand an end to gender-based violence and to insist that their stories are heard.

FILE: Demonstrators gather near the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton on 13 September 2019 in protest against gender-based violence. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - This year will go down in history as the year South African women demanded to be heard.

Between protests, social media campaigns and the elevation of voices - women joined together to demand an end to gender-based violence (GBV) and to insist that their stories be heard.

Thousands of women gathered in Gauteng during Women's Month to raise their voices against GBV. Emotions ran high as they demanded to tell their stories and be heard at the nation's seat of power, the Union Buildings in Tshwane.

“I am marching for my five-year-old child who was murdered and for women who are brutally killed. I’m am here for every women, mother, and child,” said one woman.

WATCH: Ramaphosa on GBV: Cops, prosecutors to undergo sensitivity training

Nelson Mandela’s eldest granddaughter Ndileka acknowledged she too was a survivor of GBV and called on other women to speak out and break the silence.

“My partner, after raping me, he told me ‘you like it rough anyway’. I said ‘rough or not; today I did not consent to have sex with you’. I said no so many times to him,” she said.

The organisers of the march camped outside the Union Buildings refusing to leave until the President Cyril Ramaphosa personally came to hear them.

“We want Cyril! we want Cyril!” the women chanted in protest.

Ramaphosa finally heeded the protestors' demands arriving in the late hours to listen to the women's grievances and accept their memorandum.

The total shut down march marked one of many marches around the country against GBV where citizens stood in one voice to say enough is enough.

WATCH: 'The money to fight gender-based violence is in Sandton'

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