To the womxn and gender non-conforming (GNC) people of South Africa

16 August 2018

On Wednesday 1 August 2018, we came together across the country for #TheTotalShutdown Intersectional Women’s March against Gender-Based Violence. We marched in 19 cities across the country, and in Lesotho and Namibia.

We were inspired by the womxn of 1956, who mobilised 20 000 womxn to the Union Buildings, to face off with the apartheid regime. We amplified what happened 62 years ago, and for the first time, brought thousands together to march against GBV and femicide.

We changed the narrative of womxn’s month, which has largely focused on symbolic ceremonies that bear no fruit at tackling the violence we have to live through on a daily basis. Since then, our impact has been felt in Southern Africa and beyond.

The movement began with a Facebook status which managed to galvanise over 100 000 womxn and GNC folk on Facebook, and more on the ground, who refused to be silent and chose to fight against a neo-liberal, capitalistic, patriarchal society that continues to dehumanise us.

We didn’t just march to centres of power, we spoke truth to power by handing over 24 demands for the 24 years of democracy that have failed to truly materialise our freedom.

We would like to thank every single one of you that marched on 1 August, those who were in solidarity with us, and all task teams and NGO’s that went beyond the call of duty and put everything aside to make this movement.
We wish Mthatha all the best for #TheTotalShutdown march taking place on 29 August 2018, and we appeal to South Africans to rally behind the march.

The struggle against GBV continues.

National Steering Committee