Women take centre stage in protests against gender-based violence

In 2019, mass demonstrations were centred on the killing of women and girls.

FILE: Capetonians took to the street to protest against gender-based violence on 4 September 2019. They moved from Parliament to the Cape Town International Convention Centre where the World Economic Forum on Africa event was under way. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Twenty-nineteen saw the country take a firm stand against gender-based violence.

South Africa has seen an increase in femicide in recent years. But this year, emotions and anger reached boiling point, sparking a series of campaigns and mass actions.

South Africa has seen movements against exorbitant university fees, anti-gang protests and demonstrations against the government. In 2019, mass demonstrations were centred on the killing of women and girls.

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Eyewitness News has reported on no less than 15 high profile femicide cases perpetrated across the country this year.

In August, the rape and murder of Uyinene Mrwetyana prompted calls for a national shutdown to protest the scourge under the chilling banner ‘am I next’.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed thousands of protesters who brought their anger to Parliament at the time.

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Ramaphosa vowed to tighten laws to ensure tougher action against perpetrators of gender-based violence.

"I know you're saying enough is enough. I agree completely. The killing of women must come to an end. The men of our country must take responsibility for the slaughtering of women."

According to the latest police crime stats, more than 2,700 women were murdered in South Africa between in 2018 and 2019. This equates to one murder every three hours.

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