Avela Faye who is one of the organisers of the march happening on the 1st of August says it was "inspired by a group of women from different provinces and backgrounds who shared the common interest of seeing South Africa becoming a safe space for all women, children, LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming individuals."

"We were fed-up with the rhetoric and the sharing of statistics centred around gender-based violence and we summoned the courage to band together and #TheTotalShutdown was birthed," Avela explains. 

READ MORE: Here's what we know about femicide in SA - numbers may be decreasing but the reality is still very grim

The project took off six weeks ago with a closed Facebook group that was exclusively for all women and gender non-conforming individuals. "There was a demand and a dire need to come together in a safe space" and that is why the group was created, Avela explains. The group now has over 100 000 members. 

We are entitled to our bodies, our agency and our lives who seem to be nothing more than the passing breath that it currently is.

Avela explains that they are marching because they want to ensure that "the mentioned groups of individuals do not continue dying while government continues with its 'business as usual' stance". 

This is what they say they're fighting for: 

  • We demand radical action in respect of the decrease in the deaths, rapes, harassment and all other forms of violence and abuse against us,
  • We want to ensure that our constitutionally enshrined rights are respected and upheld as contributing member of society,
  • We are entitled to our bodies, our agency and our lives that seem to be nothing more than the passing breath that it currently is,
  • We deserve to not live in fear that one of us might be the next to lose her life.

READ MORE: Human trafficking in South Africa - a never ending nightmare for women

Many of the women who will be participating in the march share the same sentiments and here's what they had to say:  

WATCH: Women talk about the Total Shutdown - a fight against femicide in South Africa 

Only women and gender non-conforming individuals are taking part in this march. There are, however, ways men can participate, which is laid out on the Total Shutdown Facebook page. All other information about the march is also posted on the Facebook group. 

If you're looking for further information on how to participate and donate towards the movement visit www.thetotalshutdown.org.za

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