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Women unite against violence

On Tuesday 3 September women from the Overstrand dressed in black as a sign of solidarity in the fight against gender based violence.

The call for women to wear black went out on social media over the weekend and early this week after social media platforms were flooded with articles about women who were brutally murdered across the country and photos of the victims.

Ntombi Mtholo, senior executive official in Overstrand Municipality’s Protection Services division, says she decided to join the call to wear black because “we can’t continue business as usual when clearly there is something wrong within society”.

She added: “All women are affected, targeted, subjected to or bear the consequences birthed by this ‘so commonly accepted’ evil against women. All women are in this mess, not by choice but by gender.

“We are not safe among our brothers, husbands, partners, male neighbours, colleagues... A young girl is not even safe around her own father, uncle, brother, teacher or cousin... Mothers are not safe around their brothers, nephews, husbands or sons. Is there any safe place in this world for a woman or girl child?”

She believes society should break the silence around abuse and teach boys from a young age that men and women are equal.

“We need to teach young boys that each one of us has a contribution to make, that the world needs both genders, one cannot exist without the other,” says Ntombi. “We shouldn’t just use words to teach these lessons but through our actions. They need to see and experience how women should be treated.”

Ntombi also urges parents to teach their children right from wrong from an early age.

“Nobody becomes a habitual criminal overnight. It starts with something small like stealing R1 or a muffin and if it is not addressed it progresses until that person steals another’s possessions or takes their life. We need responsible parents to raise responsible children,” she cautioned. Ntombi and her colleagues who joined her in wearing black plan to support a protest by the Overstrand branch of SA Women Fight Back on Tuesday 10 September from 08:00 in front of the Hermanus Magistrates’ Court.

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