Students March against Gender-Based Violence
A march to create awareness about gender-based violence and to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women was organised recently by the South African Medical Students Association (SAMSA) at UKZN.
Participants gathered at King Dinuzulu Park and marched to the Durban City Hall where deputy-convenor of the march and Deputy Chairperson of UKZN-SAMSA, Mr Kumeren Govender and his team handed over a petition to eThekwini’s Deputy Mayor, Ms Fawzia Peer.
Addressing marchers, Peer said there were still those who preyed on defenceless women. ‘Women are being abducted and forced into sex slavery which is the most inhumane thing one can ever imagine.’
‘Research shows that every six hours in South Africa, a woman is killed by her intimate partner,’ said Peer. ‘We have to question ourselves if our legal framework and by-laws are sufficient to address gender violence issues and their grassroots causes. We need to make the city of Durban safe and friendly for all who live in it, especially women.’
Women empowerment activist Mrs Shameen Rajbunsi applauded SAMSA and other role players for organising the march. ‘Today we see young men belonging to SAMSA supporting women and this gives us hope that there are real men out there who understand the worth of a woman and who respect women simply because they are human.’
‘One life lost is one too many,’ said UKZN’s SAMSA Chairperson, Mr Kapil Narain. ‘We are tired of hearing about gender violence all the time in KwaZulu-Natal and it is time we take action and make men aware that gender-based violence has no place in our society.’
The event was supported by the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), the South African Medical Association, the eThekwini Municipality, She Conquers, the Higher Education and Training HIV/AIDS Programme, Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) and UKZN.
Words by: Lihle Sosibo