The Call-to-Action, a consortium representing over 70 civil society organisations and individual activists working on gender-based violence condemns the continuous onslaught on womxn’s bodies, migrants and refugees. In the recent spate of violence erupting across the country such as looting, arson and vandalism plaguing much of Johannesburg; in areas such as Jeppestown, Malvern, Tembisa and surrounding areas, migrants and refugees have been the main target in the unrest, with dozens of shops affected.
Sadly, these incidences are not sporadic. Nor are they random “acts of criminality”. This is violence perpetrated on persons based on their gender, nationality and sexuality. Government continues to tolerate these attacks by taking a denialist approach to the underlying causes, in doing so, human life is trivialised. Government’s continued tolerance of these behaviours supports and justifies the actions of perpetrators.
As civil society, we question Government’s commitment to the National Action Plan to combat xenophobia, racism, and discrimination; perhaps it was just mere lip service?
As womxn and gender non-conforming people of this country we have come to a point of no return.
The country continues to function, with business districts and operations going on uninterrupted while womxn are killed in the very communities they operate in; we pledge our support to the womxn and gender non-conforming people protesting at the World Economic Forum for Africa, who call for a disruption of ‘business as usual’ to the economic machinery in the country.
We know that womxn are not a priority in South Africa; we also know that asylum seekers, migrants and refugees are not a priority in South Africa. We know that the South African government only responds when money is on the line.
We therefore call on all WOMXN in SOUTH AFRICA to join in the disruption of the South African business day by taking a stand to shut down a central economic point, Sandton. We ask all Sandton businesses to close their doors and join womxn on Friday 13 September 2019, as we mourn being the living dead.
To Government and business:
- We call on Government to denounce Xenophobia and call it by its name and follow its own recommendations as laid out by its National Action Plan to combat xenophobia, racism, and discrimination
- We call on government to support an end to systemic and structural violence against womxn and gender non-conforming people by finalising the National Strategic Plan on GBV and allocating it adequate funding
- We call for the opening of shelters to include ALL womxn and children
- We call on the South African private sector to take responsibility for being a driver of the deep inequalities.
- We call on business to realise their moral, ethical responsibility to the communities where they operate and to take specific steps to help build social cohesion
To the men in our country:
- We call on all men to examine their own behaviour and change.
- We call on abusers to stop abusing and killing womxn.
To comrades at this time:
- We pledge our support to the womxn in institutions of higher learning who are calling for an academic shutdown.
- We pledge our action and support to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in South Africa
- We call for the opening of all places of safety, and for building owners to make spaces available.
Organisations and individuals signing on:
- ActionAid South Africa
- African Diaspora Forum Women’s League
- Advocates for Prevention of HIV in Africa (APHA)
- Black Womxn Caucus
- Centre for Human Rights University of Pretoria
- Institute for Economic Justice
- LifeLine SA
- Rise up against GBV
- Scalabrini Centre
- Sisonke Sex Workers Movement
- Sonke Gender Justice
- The Teddy Bear Clinic
- The Archive: Amabali Wethu
- The One in Nine Campaign
- The Social Justice Foundation
- The Stop GBV Campaign
- Women and Girls Leadership Foundation
- Women Leadership Social Empowerment