Women of the Cape Flats in South Africa continue to Rise with monthly One Billion Rising events. Women’s organisations hosted a “Women’s rights are human rights” event at Retreat Civic Centre last May 2nd.
The Philisa Abafazi Bethu women and children’s project in Lavender Hill partnered with Her Voice Women Leaders Network and 1 Billion Rising, as well as the provincial government and the speaker of provincial parliament Sharna Fernandez.
Officials of the provincial government provided information about the Constitution to 160 women from Mitchell’s Plain, Hanover Park, Lavender Hill, Retreat, Hillview, Ashton and Worcester with student volunteers of the Chrysalis Academy.
Lucinda Evans, founder of the Philisa Abafazi Bethu women and children’s project and One Billion Rising Cape Flats coordinator, launched the Her Voice Women Leaders Network and the 1 Billion Rising Cape Flats campaign “in solidarity against the exploitation of women”. Women gave testimonies of victory over abuse, domestic violence, drugs, poverty and other social ills prevalent in local communities.
“The aim of the meeting was to provide information to women leaders on how they are able to make their services more accessible and for their beneficiaries – women and men – to know their rights,” says Evans.
Glorya van Niekerk from Heathfield, who attended the event, says it was an honour for her to speak to other women. “My topic is: Let your past make you better, not bitter. Domestic violence affects one in four women in South Africa alone. Abusers are thought of as out of control and even insane; the reality is often much different. These individuals are usually well liked and respected in their everyday lives and their violent actions are often calculated, sometimes planning out conflicts to gain control over their partner,” she says. “Know when it’s time to leave. Knowing your level of abuse is the first step to freedom. Speak to a trusted friend, colleague or your local pastor, imam or rabbi. We do not have to live in silence and fear of abuse. Tap into various networks that help women who are being abused.
“As women we are strong beings. Don’t allow anyone to abuse you in any form or way. They say when you strike a woman, you strike a rock. As women we have to take back our power and say ‘No’ to abuse,” adds Van Niekerk.
In other OBR Cape Flat news: In two weeks Her Voice Women Leaders Network and One Billion Rising Cape Flats And Rural Leaders Camp will be holding a women leaders Camp. Philisa Abafazi Bethu Women and Childrens Program SA are hosting the Women Leaders. Included are Women Leaders of the Rural areas as part of the Capacity Building Women Leaders Empowerment program support for their Women Empowerment and Victim Empowerment programme. This is essential capacity building support to other Women Leaders across the Cape Flats and including the Rural areas, that are advocating for the Protection of Women. Operati g as a marginalised and disadvantaged group in a country where the Wellbeing, Safety and Fundamental Rights to Protection from all forms of Violence are not seen or viewed as a priority. The Women Leaders from the Cape flats and Rural areas Goal is to Rise in Solidarity and support the call for No Violence Against the Most Vulnerable. The onslaught of Violence against Children and Women in the Cape is ongoing. Rural Women Leaders coming together will look at the issues and will discuss the following theme: “How do we Keep Our Children, Women and Communities safe: Safer Homes, Safer Communities”.