“Mourning for women”
The South African Positive Women Ambassadors (SAPWA) concludes Women’s Month with a silent march from King DinuZulu (Botha) Park to the Durban City Hall.
The silent march was attended by women from all walks of life, wearing black and marching barefooted symbolising their mourning for women who have died because of HIV/AIDS and Gender-Based Violence.
The ambassador for the SAPWA, Gogo Silungile Mtambo says that they are celebrating women’s month in the form of a march as the statistics of HIV show that women get infected the most. Yet at the same time, they don’t have proper prevention tools available for women.
“We remember all the women who were infected by HIV, and who have passed due to illnesses related to HIV because they were not able to protect themselves. We are therefore saying so all those women we are mourning for them, we are saying that may their souls rest in peace,” said Mtambo.
According to Global statistics, there are about 36.9 million people who are currently living with HIV and according to UNAIDS – 7.2 million of them are living in South Africa. Statistics have also shown that a large percentage of those people are females.
“We will be heading to the Durban City Hall and meet the MEC of Health to deliver a memorandum. We are pleading with them that whenever they are budgeting, they must allocate some money for prevention methods so that we can reach an HIV free generation,” said Mtambo.
Nompumelelo Mthethwa the co-ordinator of the march explains that the march is about the rights of women and how women have been abused at the hands of their partners.
“We are here saying that all women around must stand up and fight for their rights and not keep quiet whilst they are being abused. With today’s march we are hoping that our cries be heard worldwide,” said Mthethwa.
“Being a youth ambassador I work with both genders and sometimes I face cases of gender-based violence and I see how painful it is, the challenges they face. So I urge every South African and every other man to support, love and protect women,” said Nzama.
Pictures: Mandisa Magubane