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Cape Town gathers to march against Gender-Based Violence

“Ninety percent (90%) of the cases attended to by the social workers at the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) Social Development department are related to abuse.” So says Shaykh Fadihl Emandien, who heads the unit.

His comments come ahead of an interfaith silent march in Athlone on Wednesday, 29 November 2017, which the ulama body is hosting in partnership with various civil society organisations to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

According to the chairperson of the MJC Women’s Forum, Khadija Patel-Allie, violence against women and children may be an international phenomenon but in the Western Cape, it has reached pandemic proportions.

“A recent report by the Medical Research Council found that 40% of men assault their partners daily. The report also stated that three women in South Africa, are killed every day by their intimate partners,” Allie explained.

“Gender-Based Violence is a silent, insidious serpent that is cutting through all barriers of society. It does not discriminate and affects the young and old, the rich and poor, no matter of race, social status, political affiliation or religion,” she added.

UNsilence Violence Protest March

The MJC calls on members of the community and civil society to join the silent protect action and to stand up against GBV.

“We can only address GBV in society when we choose to identify and acknowledge the enormity it has on communities. This scourge is critically threatening the existence of healthy functioning societies in South Africa,” Patel-Allie said. “We cannot remain silent, stand by and watch idly as this vicious cycle of abuse continue. We can no longer be complicit in this terrible crime.”

The march will kick off at 11h00am at the Athlone Stadium and will proceed down the Klipfontein Road corridor towards Jakes Gerwel Drive [old Vanguard Drive]. The procession will then turn around and head back to the stadium where a short programme will follow.

The march is being supported by various interfaith organisations, who will address the crowd and share their statements of support against GBV. Organisations who have pledged their support for this initiative include:

–        SA Human Rights Commission

–        Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

–        Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum

–        IHATA Shelter for Abused Women and Children

–        Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children

–        Sonke Gender Justice

–        Rape Crisis

–        Islamic Relief South Africa

For more information on the UNsilence Violence Protest March, contact MJC Media Coordinator, Mishka Daries on 021 684 4600 or email media@mjc.org.za