Gender-based violence is unfortunately one of the social ills, which plagues our country, particularly KZN much too frequently. The alarming rate at which abuse of women and children occur in our society is of great concern to Diakonia Council of Churches, as an organisation that focuses on gender justice as part of our work for social justice.
Nokulunga Khumalo, Programme Manager at Diakonia Council of Churches said Diakonia hopes to unite the church, interfaith and social justice partners as well as ordinary men, women and youth in a march against all forms of gender-based violence on Thursday, 7 December.
“Our theme is Unite to end Abuse and Violence- and we want all of civil society to come together to stand in solidarity with women and children who experienced rape, abuse, sexual harassment and/or domestic violence to say no to abuse and violence.”
With the march, Diakonia plans to take their Thursdays in Black (TIB) campaign a step further. The campaign was launched during the 16 Days of Activism Campaign in 2008 and has since been successful in creating awareness of GBV matters. The idea behind the campaign is that people wear black on Thursdays with the TIB button to promote the campaign and raise awareness about the extent of violence on women and children. The positive response has seen thousands of women and men as well as celebrities commit themselves to wearing black on Thursdays (an outward sign of mourning and of standing in solidarity with victims and survivors of GBV).
Church leaders and inter-faith leaders will lead the march which we hope will attract scores of active citizens who want to see a Durban without rape and violence. A short programme at the end of the march will include speakers including a rape survivor and church leader before the handover of our memorandum to the authorities.
The march will start at Diakonia Centre, 20 Diakonia Avenue promptly at 10am before proceeding to Medwood Gardens (across City Hall) where a memorandum will be handed over to representatives from the eThekwini Mayor’s office, NPA and SAPS. We ask all supporters of the march to wear black in support of the Thursdays in Black campaign and bring placards for the peaceful march.