Soweto women organise against gender violence

On 21 May 2017 Soweto Women’s Forum (SWF) held a community mass meeting at Naledi Hall in Soweto, Johannesburg and more than 35 women attended. Some of the issues that were addressed included the recent cases of taxi rapes, and the killing of women and children in South Africa.

Also present at the meeting was Thakgalo Somo, an 11-year-old grade 6 learner. Somo told Karibu! that she and her friends have formed a group called ‘grade 6 empowerment’, where they talk about issues that affect them. “I am not happy about the killing and rape that is happening in our township. Government and the police need to do something about these cases,” said Somo.

The Forum was formed on 25 March 2017, during the recent taxi rape cases that took place in and around the Soweto area and is a collective of black women concerned with the realities of women in Soweto. Since it was formed, it has held workshops, hosted in collaboration with the 1in9 campaign, a self-defence class for Soweto women, and recently engaged in a #SafeTaxisNow campaign, in collaboration with Soul City Institute.

“There was a need to organise ourselves as black women facing issues like rape and killing in our township,” said SWF member Zukiswa White. White invited women who stay in Soweto and who are concerned about what is happening to women to join the Forum, and encouraged those in other townships to form women’s forums as a way to organise.

Get into contact with Soweto Women’s Forum on their social media platforms (Twitter: @SowetoWomen, and Facebook: Soweto Women’s Forum), or via whatsapp or SMS (076 4331454).

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