Thousands of women in South Africa took to the streets of Pretoria on Wednesday to protest against gender-based violence.
The protest dubbed #TotalShutdown is pushing for change in how the country addresses the issue of violence against women using various methods.
Women in the country live in fear of attacks everyday 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.
“We are marching because we are saying enough is enough, we are tired of living in fear as woman. 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 activist, Sithandekile Sibanda.
A survey published in 2016 showed that 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”.
“We are not safe in the streets, we are not safe, we are not safe in the taxis, we are tired of men violating us, men talking to us as if we are their sexual objects. For me it means it’s now time for change, it’s now a time for a new South Africa, a South Africa where women are safe and free to go around and do what they want without fear without anything,” she said.
South Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime with women, girls and children being raped and murdered at an alarmingly high rate.
The demonstrations were held ahead of the National Women’s Day on August 9.