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Men March Against Gender Violence in South Africa

In recent weeks, dozens of South African women have been murdered violently. As a response, the #notinmyname campaign wanted to protest gender violence in the country. On May 20, the campaign organized a march. Hundreds of people, particularly men, stormed the capital city to show their support.

The organizers of the march thought it was important that men got together to show their support for the cause, rather than just having women march. According to Eyewitness News, one march organizer, Kholofelo Masha, wanted the march to be about men helping in the fight against the abuse of women.

“For a long time, men have been very quiet. You hear a lady screaming next door, you decide to sleep when you know there is a problem next door. No man should beat a woman or rape a woman while you’re watching,” he said.

According to another Eyewitness News article, the march was led by police officers and motorcycle bikers, with the government showing its support as well. “The government has raised its concerns at the scourge, saying more needs to be done to prevent the abuse of women and children,” the article stated.

Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery showed his support of the campaign, stating, “These cases are really horrific and they’re a terrible reflection of humanity. We will do whatever we can to ensure the perpetrators are brought to book and tried in court.”

According to Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, much of the gender violence occurs to women in abusive relationships. She believes that nothing will change in the country if the issue of violence in abusive relationships is not addressed.

“The minister encouraged women to [recognize] the warning signs of abuse and leave their relationships,” according to Eyewitness News.

However, the march was not just about educating women about what they can do to prevent such crimes from occurring. The march and campaign was also aimed towards allowing other people to think about what they can do to fix the issue.

One of the march organizers, Obakeng Motshabi, was aware that the march cannot put an end to the violence on its own. “Motashabi said whilst the march may not solve the issue, it will spark conversations in the hearts of others and that people may then go into the communities and teach people about what is happening and all that is wrong,” according to News 24.

Hopefully, these conversations about gender violence will allow communities to see the injustice and make more sweeping efforts to put an end to the abuse, rape, and murder of women. If the march proves to be successful, the campaign will not end with the march.

According to News 24, Motshabi “said that the #NotInMyName campaign may become a Non-Profit [Organization] in order to start helping all women who are marred by the violence of men in South Africa.” With the continued help and efforts of this campaign, women in South Africa may have a deserved future free of gender-based violence.

Featured Image by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Flickr

Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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