written by Kaitlin Higgins
AllAfrica.com is reporting that on Thursday, February 14, communities throughout South Africa stood, marched, and rallied in solidarity with the global One Billion Rising (OBR) initiative. Fueled by outcries over the rape and murder of 17-year-old Anene Booysen, the movement was planned to take place in cities including Cape Town, with the largest held at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. In the Western Cape province, the Bonteheuwel community organized in song and protest. Many have said that Booysen’s case may be the “tipping point” in a country that, until now, has neglected to talk about its staggering number of rape cases.
Michael Nkalane of AllAfrica.com writes:
“‘The United Nations has reported that one in three women will be raped in her lifetime. We are here to represent each one of those. Government must implement laws that will deal with heinous crime effectively. MPs should visit the police stations where rape is reported frequently. We want more action that will bring a meaningful change to the communities. That is why we are starting our protest here,” [OBR’s Western Cape coordinator Zubeida Shaik] said.
The Bonteheuwel community leader and parliamentary official Anthea Abrahams said it was important to start such campaigns in the townships because that is where the victims and perpetrators are. She said the area is among those with highest rape statics but was not ‘reported as the victims fear for more victimization.'”
One Billion Rising was created last year by Eve Ensler, a US activist and writer of The Vagina Monologues.