In recognition of August being Women’s Month in South Africa, on Monday, 24 August, ONE Campaign hosted a digital dialogue with Kuhluka Movement and Justice 4 All Womxn exploring the current state of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Africa. Panelists included Josina Z Machel, founder of Kuhluka Movement and Justice 4 All Womxn, South African artist and activist Gigi Lamayne, and Chioma Agwuegbo, founder of TechHernNG in Nigeria.
Titled, #Justice4AllWomxn: The Movement Behind The Hashtag, the dialogue explored the current issues, contributing factors, the impact of COVID-19, how social media is being used, and solutions. With guests from South Africa, Mozambique, and Nigeria, the conversation discussed the larger issues across the continent and the global attention that has been garnered from the recent use of hashtags such as #JusticeForUwa, #JusticeForTina and #Justice4AllWomxn.
ONE Nigeria Director Serah Makka-Ugbabe moderated the conversation reminding people of the urgency with facts such as, “The UN has called sexual and GBV a shadow epidemic saying 1 in 3 women will experience some form of violence during their time on earth. That is 1 billion women.” She shared data about the increase of GBV globally during COVID-19 and reminded us that 1 woman is murdered every 3 hours in South Africa 51% of women in SA experience at the hands of someone they are in a relationship with.
Josina Machel, the daughter of Graca Machel and President Samora Machel and an outspoken voice on GBV, shared about her own personal experience with violence against women that left her missing an eye and the current efforts of her organization Kuhluka Movement. She reminded people, “We must get to a point where we say enough is enough” and urged people to “mobilize our communities and force these conversations.”
South African artist and activist Gigi Lamayne shared her music video “Kube Kuzi Nini” (How Long Will This Go On) which is about a woman leaving an abusive relationship. She called on people to use their voices on social media saying, “Social media is becoming a platform where people can speak up. Regardless of who you are or how many followers you have if you have a story or if you have a hashtag there are people who will see it.”
Chioma Agwuegbo, founder and executive director of TechHerNG in Nigeria discussed the systems and structures that contribute to sexual and gender-based violence saying, “Patriarchy rears its head in a number of ways. First, it is the shaming. Then it is the structure. It’s the ripple effect. It questions women who question men.”
The conversation was broadcast live on Justice 4 All Womxn and TechHerNG’s Facebook pages and is available for playback. The panel is a part of ONE’s larger campaign to bring attention and mobilization to the impact of COVID-19 on other pre-existing issues in Africa. For more information on ONE’s work please visit ONE.ORG/AFRICA.