Thousands of women in South Africa marched in the capital city of Pretoria Wednesday to protest against gender violence under the banner #TotalShutDown.
The march organized by WomenProtestSA, rallied behind the slogan “My body, not your crime scene” also coincides with the Women’s Month throughout August and the upcoming National Women’s Day on Aug. 9, where hundreds of women are expected to march to raise awareness of violence against women and children under the ‘Total Shutdown’ banner.
South Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of violence against women, girls, and children with an alarmingly high rate of rape cases and murders.
South Africa’s femicide rate is nearly five times more than the global rate. Per a report by Africa Check, the femicide rate globally in 2015 was 2.4 per 100,000 women, compared to South Africa’s rate which was four times higher at 9.6 per 100,000 women.
Women in the country live in fear of attacks every day and are saying enough is enough. “We are tired, they are killing us, our kids, our kids are raped every single day. Today, it must end,” said Fundiswa Ndeyi, the CNN reported.
“We are marching because we are saying enough is enough, we are tired of living in fear as women. It’s high time the government takes us serious as woman and takes this as a state of emergency because we are tired of being abused by men,” said Sithandekile Sibanda, an activist.
According to a 2016 survey, one in five South African women older than 18 has experienced gender-based violence. Activists say authorities have done little to stop the “war against women.”