Symbolic Silence Puts Spotlight on Gender Violence

In Global, Global Featured, South Africa by AHF

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) South Africa recently teamed up with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) to host a Silent Protest to represent the silence that surrounds sexual violence and highlights rape-related suicides and murders on university campuses.

“Due to gender inequality and high rates of violence, young women and girls are eight times more likely to be HIV-positive than their male counterparts,” said AHF South Africa Regional Policy and Advocacy Manager Larissa Klazinga. The Silent Protest, along with our Girls Act! empowerment program, creates spaces where youth can confront rape culture and access the healthcare and psychosocial services they need.”
This was the fifth year AHF and UKZN have hosted the demonstration, which included a march and “die-in,” as well as lectures and an evening debriefing session.

“The event offers participants the opportunity to commit to a day of silent, embodied resistance against the silencing and dehumanizing effects of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence and street harassment,” said UKZN Religion and Theology Professor Charlene van der Walt. “The protest also fights against the effects of gender violence that cut across race, gender, class, sexual orientation, culture and religious affiliations.”

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