In light of the national 16 Days of Activism, a march against gender-based violence (GBV) and femicide was organised by Miss Eastern Cape Beauty With a Purpose in East London last Saturday.
The march started at Trinity Methodist Church and finished outside the city hall. Dozens of women showed up wearing “black and doek” to show their support.
Miss Eastern Cape founder Zikhona Ngxata said the march was led by Miss Eastern Cape finalists.
“We need to take a stand as women, as some did in 1956 outside the Union Buildings.
“If they could succeed with that, the women of 2019 must also do so to take a stand against GBV and femicide,” Ngxata said.
She said the march was not against men but against GBV.
“We want to educate men on the struggle of women after the act [of GBV] which leaves an emotional scar.
“We need men to be good role models for the growing boys and to help change the status quo,” Ngxata said.
Amatola Water Board CEO and Miss EC ambassador Vuyo Zitumane said enough was enough.
“It is our responsibility to hold hands and raise awareness about this scourge.
“Violence starts at home and it is just as important for the mother to take care of the boy child,” Zitumane said.
Representing Girl Up was Bathandwa Daniels, who said it was time for society to step back and reflect on the situation.
“This is a festering wound in our society yet we continue to carry on as if it is business as usual. Our women leaders need to stand up,” Daniels said.
Girl Up is a campaign of the United Nations that helps fund and support UN agencies that focus on adolescent girls.
A memorandum was handed over to the EL SAPS acting visible policing head Lt-Col Zimisele Nxafani.
Among the community members at the march was the newly appointed provincial department of economic development, environmental affairs and tourism head of department Mickey Mama.
Pastor Bathandwa Kwatsha said though we needed to pray for women in pain, it would not be a sprint but a marathon to end the scourge of GBV.