SOUTH AFRICA: SISTERHOOD GBV RUN BACKGROUND
Sisterhood against GBV is a group of biker ladies from different clubs across the WC and individual/solo riders. These are the ladies who came together around September 2019 with the intention of supporting the massive protests happening at the time against the brutal killing of women and children in our country and also create GBV awareness in our communities. Ladies who started the conversation back then felt strongly that lady bikers across all races and clubs should lead protests and campaigns on specific issues related to women.
The group was resuscitated this month with the realization that the gender based violence in our country has since escalated due to the Covid 19 lockdown. Daily we hear and read about the brutality of murders, abuse happening in our communities. This prompted us to start taking about the women’s month celebration when women and children continue to suffer in the hands of men. The consensus was that there was nothing to celebrate when women are not free.
It was then that the lady bikers on the group agreed to take to the streets to add their collective voices against gender based violence on women’s day. The purpose of the ride was to mourn (not celebrate) women’s month in remembrance of all the victims of GBV and also to add our voice to the call to STOP 🛑 GBV.
As the group gained overwhelming support and grew in numbers, a small committee was formed to plan the logistics of the mass ride against GBV taking into consideration the Covid19 regulations especially on mass gatherings. After failed attempts to get approvals from the local authorities and a safe venue for the mass ride, we learnt of the City of Cape Town plans to host GBV campaign on the 10th August 2020.
The City of Cape Town agreed to provide Sisterhood Against GBV a platform to hand over the memorandum to the Mayor and join in creating GBV awareness. This was the safest available option to have our mass ride and still achieve our objectives. This presented a platform for sisterhood to 1. mourn on women’s day by raising our helmets in salute or remembrance of the victims, 2. hand over a memorandum and 3. further to add our voice to the call to STOP 🛑 GBV.
We were clear that the sisterhood against GBV is independent from any organization, not affiliated to any political party or government. We insisted on maintaining our identity (black and red) so that we are not seen as part of the City’s campaign. we welcome support in the form of donations to the benefit of the organizations that support women and children of our choice.
It is against this background that we confirm that sisterhood against GBV has had its first successful inaugural mass ride this past Monday. The second leg of our campaign was the delivery of donated goods to the chosen two organizations to wrap up the women’s month by handing over collected donations.
Any planned rides in support of GBV campaigns are supported by bikers in their individual capacity not as sisterhood against GBV campaign.
By: Adelaide Mohale