Power and Respect to women in Mini-Skirt
Villagers from Student Village dressed in mini-skirts and hit the streets of Johannesburg to show their support and to protest against the violence, abuse and disrespect women experience in the taxi ranks.
The purpose of the march was to emphasise that women have the right to wear whatever they want and should not be victimised for their choice in clothing.
Hundreds of women and some men gathered in Noord Street. It was here that two young women were harassed by taxi drivers which lead to this organised march.
Some slogans on the boards of the protesters read “I am proud of my mini skirt”, “We are not scared of them. We want them” and “We are going to wear our mini skirts. We are proud Mandla!"
The march was successful except for a couple of instances involving pickpockets. On two occasions the would be thieves were caught by marchers in the crowd and received a beating from the women. Both times the thieves got away, running straight past police who did nothing.
Activations Manager at Student Village Mpho Phahlane, said she was disappointed with the turn out and with the men around her on the day. “The men will always take advantage of the women. Look at how much pick pocketing there was just because there were women.” She added that the march “was about fighting harassment”.
Bursary manager at Student Village, Moagisi Letlhaku says “the point was not the skirts. The problem is that we need to stops abuse of women in all forms. That is the principle of the strike.” She is concerned that despite all these protests that the statistics for women abuse are not going to go down.
Organised by the Women's League, the march was supported by Cosatu and Women and Men Against Child Abuse. The march concluded outside the steps of the Supreme Court where one of the victims spoke as well as The Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana.
90% of the women interviewed had experienced emotional abuse: being humiliated in front of others was most commonly reported.
90% had also experienced physical abuse: being pushed or shoved and being slapped or hit were highlighted.
71% had experienced sexual abuse: attempts to kiss or touch followed by forced sexual intercourse occurred most often.
58% experienced economic abuse: money taken without consent was most common.
42.5% of women had experienced all forms of abuse.
60% of all cases of abuse were committed by partners, lovers or spouses.
Student Village about to march left to right: Tlangelani Golele; Duncan Collins; Sifiso Masoka; Penelope Makasi; Mpho Phahlane; Shiwe Galawe; Grace Gwiji
For the full gallery click http://www.studentvillage.co.za/gallery/album/mini-skirt-march-against-women-abuse