Chalk it up against GBV

16 days of activism by Masimanyane

By Asavela Mbali

Words and messages related to gender based violence were written in chalk over Heroes Park in Quigney, East London as part of 16 days of activism against violence to women and children. The protest was part of a day of action organised by women’s rights organisation Masimanyane. 

Chalk it up’s Robynn Jean-Pierre said “Chalk-it-up is mostly done in hotspots of gender base violence occurs and they claim back the spaces to make woman to feel safe around. What we hope to achieve is whoever walks through sees this as a safe space for them and sees whoever came and wrote down words of affirmation.” Robynn is also co-founder of My Body My Say, also fighting against gender-based violence.

“We get our hands dirty by not going physically out to fight people and be violent but speaking out and doing this kind of work in addressing violence against women because 16 day of activism is against gender base violence” said Nwabisa Dlova, a participant.

At Masimanyane’s Southernwood offices the women shared their thoughts on GBV. 

“I feel like the law is failing us because even if someone killed someone in self-defence because she was going to get raped, she will get charged as if she asked to be raped,” said Qiniso Asisipho. 

“We always hear that men rape women because they were tempted by what the women are wearing, fine we changed we wore jeans and long dresses but still we got raped” said Aphiwe Seku.

“I got so curious when I heard about this function that it made me want to attend because of the Gender Base Violence that we woman and children face everyday” said Phelokazi Cuka, from Nxarhuni.

Masimanyane manager Farida Myburgh said “Once you become an activist, you never stop being an activist. I am a mother of three boys and two of them are married. I always tell them to watch how they talk or treat a woman.” 

She advises women to do a background check before getting into a relationship with someone because there is never a reformed perpetrator. Farida is also concerned about the train of COVID-19 infection that is increasing every day, urging people to follow regulations. 

Masimanyane was recognised for the work it has been doing since 1996 to fight gender based violence when it received an electric car from the presidential inter-ministerial committee on GBVF which had been donated to the presidency by BMW. 

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