Aprons and pinafores to get the gender message job done

Msunduzi Municipality speaker Eunice Majola addresses a gathering of women about a new campaign to end violence done. | SUPPLIED

Msunduzi Municipality speaker Eunice Majola addresses a gathering of women about a new campaign to end violence done. | SUPPLIED

Published Feb 24, 2024


Durban — Just days after the release of the quarterly crime statistics showed that gender-based violence remained rife in Pietermaritzburg, the Msunduzi Municipality launched a campaign against gender-based violence (GBV).

Adopting aprons and pinafores as their symbolic tools in the fight, #swenka nge iphinifa attracted scores of women from all over the KZN capital to the Thembalihle Community Hall on Thursday.

Aprons are regarded as a form of workwear, and donning them is seen by some as an illustration that GBV is a task that needs to be properly dealt with in workmanlike fashion.

Led by council speaker Eunice Majola and supported by other role-players, including the police and community-based organisations in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas, the campaign marked the start of what the municipality hopes will be regular interaction with residents, where incidents of GBV will be reported and swiftly addressed.

Majola said it was hoped the programme would raise awareness and encourage discussions of the challenges women faced around GBV.

She said the municipality sought to educate women about their right to safety and how to protect themselves in their households, work environment, and communities. She applauded the presence of organisations focusing on helping victims of GBV, saying it would be defeated if all role-players worked together.

“Let’s call an end to gender-based violence and come together to end this fight. Blow the whistle and put an end to GBV,” said Majola.

She warned women against protecting abusive spouses, saying this simply meant the cycle of abuse would continue.

A local resident described the event as very informative, expressing hope that it would not be a one-off.

Anti-GBV activist Amukelani Mckenzie expressed enthusiasm over the initiative: “Wow, we need to visit Thembalihle with my team for GBV awareness and stage plays.”

The latest figures released by Police Minister Bheki Cele for October to December 2023 showed that Plessislaer and Mountain Rise police stations were among those with high cases of rape, sexual assaults and common assaults. In 2022 Mountain Rise recorded 47 rapes, while in 2023 56; Plessislaer had 39 rapes in 2022, now 44. In contrast, uMlazi in Durban reported 71 rape counts in 2022, with 64, 7 fewer in 2023. Inanda police station recorded a drop from 83 to 63.

Independent on Saturday