Breaking the Silence on Woman Abuse

Abahlali baseMjondolo Women’s League Press Statement
30 November 2012

Breaking the Silence on Woman Abuse

Each and every day is a challenge to women who are facing different kinds of abuse. It is often hard for them to speak out about it. Some of the women are abused by their boyfriends or husbands. Others are abused even within their families by their family members and because they are woman they feel that they must keep quiet about it. Women are also abused by landlords, government officials and politicians. Some rich women are also abused by the men in their communities but rich women are not abused by government officials and politicians. Being poor makes a person vulnerable to all kinds of abuses because poor people are not taken as people that count in this society. We are not taken as people with rights. In fact keeping some people poor is a kind of lifelong and day to day abuse too.

While the 16 Days of Activism and World Aids day are happening the Abahlali baseMjondolo Women’s League will be having a workshop with women and sharing our experiences and discussing our solidarity in the struggle to end all abuse against all women. We will also be educating each other about our rights as woman. We will also be having a time to talk about our problems as woman, problems that we are sometimes unable to talk about in other spaces. We will have the opportunity to break the silence as woman. Most of us as woman when we are abused we feel ashamed to talk about our abuse. But on this day we will be having that opportunity to take off the mask and speak about our problems as theye are.

Part of our problem as Abahlali woman is the issue of shelter. While politicians who act to represent us are living in fancy homes we as woman have to suffer being homeless to the extent that we can do anything to get shelter and food for our kids. Not even the government is willing to attend to us and yet they pretend to be concern about us as woman. There is a lot of talk about women. There is no action in solidarity with women.

We are also aware of the campaigns that they are going to have which do not really accommodate our real issues of being homeless. The only time we will see that the government has a real interest in us at human beings is when they decide to sit with us and listen to us in our shacks rather than just always talking about us on the televisions.

We will also be commemorating our late Heroes and Heroines who died because of this pandemic (HIV/AIDS). We have lost many comrades. We will also be healing our hearts as women to those who are infected and affected by this pandemic. We are also encouraging all the women to know their status, to disclose to their partners and live up to their status.

We will be having our event for the 16 Days of Activism and World Aids day tomorrow at Diakonia Council of Churches on 1 December starting at 8 and continuing to 3. We will be partnering with People Opposing Woman Abuse (POWA) for this event.

For more information please contact:

Zandile Nsibande: 074 767 5706 (AbM- Women’s League)
Busisiwe Mdlalose: 073 501 4200 (AbM- Women’s League)
Bandile Mdlalose: 071 424 2815 ( AbM- General Secretary)