Activists plan Sandton shutdown in protest of gender-based violence

 

 

Gender rights activists will embark on a ‘Shutdown Sandton’ campaign on Friday in an effort to highlight business’s complicity in gender based violence.

Protesters are set to mobilise at 3am outside the JSE.

This comes after thousands protested outside the World Economic Forum (WEF) last week, forcing President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the throng outside of parliament. While activists have hailed the country’s sadness, anger and solidarity, they believe that “businesses have much to answer for regarding the gender based violence”.

“While the WEF last week announced a global response to the shocking levels of GBV [gender-based violence] in South Africa, we have yet to hear anything from corporate South Africa,” a statement that will be presented to corporate South Africa on Friday reads.

The statement emphasises three main points that point to the exploitation of women in South African businesses. The first of these issues is pay disparities between men and women.


“Despite legislation to the contrary this discrimination against womxn is institutionalised and normalised. We demand that business, as part of a commitment to ending gender-based violence, ends this unjust practice too and adopts clear time frames for the eradication of this practice with a naming and shaming of perpetrators,” it reads.

The statement then moves on to the prevalent tolerance of sexual harassment within the workplace. The statement demands that this type of behaviour be abolished and whistle-blowers given complete support, including emotional support.

The protesters also aim to address the gender inequalities that occur at top management as only 3.3% of listed companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) have women chief executives.

“Despite this knowledge, we have seen no practical measures put into place for ending this effective discrimination against 52% of the population,” the statement says.

The statement makes three primary demands for all companies listed on the JSE: businesses should speak out on gender based violence, JSE listing criteria must include a 2% levy on profits and all listed entities must help fund the ongoing fight against femicide and violence against women.

Finally, the statement demands that all JSE-listed companies donate to the National Strategy Plan on GBV and femicide which will be launched in November.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Eyaaz Matwadia
Eyaaz Matwadia
Eyaaz Matwadia is a member of the Mail & Guardian's online team.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

Cyril & co rise as Ace’s plot bombs

Magashule’s group and ANC outsiders have made moves to get the president and others to also stand aside

Q&A sessions: Where are the Zuckerbergs of South Africa?

Haroon Meer, the founder of the multimillion-dollar startup Thinkst, talks about international acclaim and South Africa’s need for more tech builders

More top stories

Africa could produce a Covid-19 vaccine sooner than you think

In mere months, Moderna transformed an old Polaroid factory in America into a state-of-the-art vaccine-production centre. Why can’t we do the same?

Condemnation of UCT lecturer misses context

Groups slam UCT professor’s Hitler comment without an understanding of the lecture’s purpose

Environmental organisations demand halt to unnecessary plastic production

NGOs are calling on the department of environment to introduce stricter measures for companies manufacturing and using plastic products

Ramaphosa announces ‘substantial changes’ to armed forces leadership

The SANDF has made headlines over the past year for all the wrong reasons. The new appointments to the Military Command Council aim to offer stability
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…