The Total Shutdown is a movement of a collective of women and gender non-conforming people who are planning to shut down the country on the 1st of August 2018. We will be marching in all nine provinces in South Africa. There are also marches planned in Lesotho, Botswana, and Swaziland on the same day.

On facebook womxn and gender non-conforming (GNC) people may join  #thetotalshutdown: intersectional women’s march against gbv group. This group is strictly for womxn and those who are gender non-conforming. Men are not permitted to join the group, however, they – along with everyone – including those womxn and GNC people who may not want to be in the group, may follow the public page on facebook or twitter @WomenProtestSA for information and updates about the movement. Please use and follow #TheTotalShutdown hashtag.

Womxn & GNC people may also register their interest to join the movement and protest action by completing an online form where they will provide their contact details and affirm their intention to march on August 1st.

There are also regional WhatsApp groups that have been created to facilitate mobilization in specific areas. The links to join these groups is on the pinned post inside the facebook group; you may also send an email to wosatotalshutdown (at) gmail (dot) com.

An NPO (non-profit organisation) was registered a few weeks before the 01 August march to facilitate fundraising for the march and host march-related activities. The NPO, Rise-up Against Gender Based Violence, is charged with monitoring the implementation of demands in the memorandum developed by #TheTotalShutdown nationwide collective. Funds raised went towards the organising costs of #TheTotalShutdown march on 01 August 2018, a large portion of which came from the pockets of nationwide task team members. #TheTotalShutdown movement and its NPO is run by volunteers, and has no salaried employees.

Read through our Memorandum of Demands and find ways to activate and implement them in your own regions. Actively continue to spread awareness and educate yourself around issues of gender-based violence (GBV) and discrimination against gender non-conforming (GNC) people within a violent patriarchal system. Be present at relevant court appearances and find different ways to protest continued levels of patriarchal violence. Organise and attend events that address these issues, and invite vulnerable members of your community to become speakers and lead workshops on the challenges they face. Keep in mind the deadlines on the Memorandum of Demands and find ways to contribute that ensure they are met.

#TheTotalShutdown national and regional marches on 01 August 2018 were a call to mobilise around the change that must come.

The colours of the march are black with a touch of red. Topless protesting is welcome. We are selling t-shirts @ R70 and hoodies @ R350 for those interested. We are selling these to raise funds for transportation, mobile toilets and water. You can order here.

No children are allowed to attend the march as their safety will not be guaranteed. There might be teargas.

Men are encouraged to support the movement by staying away from work and not buying anything on August 1st; however the march is ONLY for womxn and gender non-conforming people.

We will gather between 09h00-11h00. Then start making our way to the designated place for handing over the memorandum. please check with your local/regional team on exact time for gathering in key points. Most marches will last for 30-40 minutes from starting point to final venue for delivery of the memorandum.

11h00 – 12h15
We expect all marchers to be at the final destination.
12h30 – 12h55
The reading of the memorandum at all marches will take place.
12h55 – 13h00
A call for a moment in solidarity will be sounded nationally.
13h00 until 13h30
Followed by #TheTotalShutdown by all womxn, GNC people and supporters everywhere to observe a moment of solidarity.

A memorandum will be delivered to the three pillars of government, LegislatureJudiciary and the Administration; in addition, there will be other marches throughout the country targeting regional and strategic centres of power.

  • Botswana is having their own march under a different name and banner.
  • Swaziland will be joining the march in Gauteng.

A “draft zero” of the memorandum was created through a public call where input was sort from individuals mainly using the social media platforms as well as at meetings with other NGOs and groups working on gender based violence. Participation was open to everyone.

“Draft one” was finalised with the help of relevant NGOs and organizations working on GBV as well as legal and policy experts.

Read the Summary: Memorandum of Demands.

#TheTotalShutdown is an independent movement of womxn and gender non-conforming people. No political party has been endorsed nor has endorsed this march. We are all participating in our independent capacity.

This movement was started by ordinary women, initiated through a social media post and grew into a facebook group managed by a National Task Team of diverse womxn and gender nonconforming people. All are volunteers and their profiles are shared on a pinned facebook post. However, like all movements of this magnitude, the movement is supported by volunteers and regional teams across the region, including important partners in the NGO sector and gender representatives of trade and labor unions.

We need a lot of resources, both cash and in-kind, to have a successful event. There is no minimum or maximum contribution. If each person gave R50, we would be able to cover some of the many logistical expenses we are faced with. You may contribute via Direct Deposit, PayPal, Gogetfunding, by purchasing t-shirts and hoodies from our chosen distributor, or through in-kind contributions.

You may support #TheTotalShutdown by dressing in black with a touch of Red.  Avoid working and/or spending money on the 1st of August. Most importantly, stop all work and stand outside from 13h00 to 13h30 South Africa Standard Time (GMT+2) to join the national moment of solidarity with the marchers.