Sisonke RISING on V-Day against GBV

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14 Feb

Image: Sex workers in Cape Town joining their voices to the international One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign against gender-based violence on V-Day. Photographer/ credit: Ntokozo Yingwana

Sisonke, the only national movement of sex workers in South Africa, joined its voice to the international One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign against gender-based violence on V-Day. V-Day, the 14th of February, is a day dedicated to raising the growing concerns about violence against women and girls.

The Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) hosted a Sisonke expressive arts workshop, facilitated by the Mothertongue Project. "It was about finding ways to engage with one's body; about claiming, affirming and celebrating oneself", said Dr Makgathi Mokwena, Programme Director of the Mothertongue Project.

This was followed by a mass Rising with fellow activists at Thibault Square (Cape Town). Addressing the gathered, SWEAT Advocacy Officer Ntokozo Yingwana said, "We are Rising in memory of Lerato, and others whose deaths have fallen through the cracks of our criminal justice system, only because they are sex workers". Lerato is a Rustenburg sex worker who allegedly died in police custody in September 2012. Her body is yet to be found.

On Black Friday, 15th February, Sisonke concluded the OBR campaign by joining members of the South African National AIDS Council, Women's Sector (SANAC WS) in a peaceful protest in front of Parliament. "The protest comes in response to the brutal rape and murders being perpetrated in South Africa highlighted by Anene Booysen's death", said a SANAC WS press release.


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