Day of Mourning for Gender-Based Violence victims

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

As South Africa marks the start of Women’s Month, the Department of Women will today join thousands of activists from across the country in a call to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The Department of Women has declared 01 August 2018 as the Day of Mourning for victims of Gender Based Violence.

The Day of Mourning campaign is symbolically designated to emphasise that GBV is a human rights violation. The campaign seeks to acknowledge and highlight violent masculinities, harmful traditions and practices that help to normalise gender-based violence and impunity of perpetrators.

“To mark the start of Women’s Month, we call on all South Africans to join the national moment of silence during lunch time. We urge both men and women to wear black clothes and form a human chain on the streets in front of their offices, homes or social places to remember women and children who are victims of violence,” said Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Bathabile Dlamini.

Dlamini who supports the campaigns, programmes and marches aimed at fighting gender based violence, calls on everybody to join the campaign to end the scourge of violence in society.

“Gender-based violence affects us all and it continues to be the responsibility of all people to bring an end to this gross human rights violation. We encourage all community members, business sectors, government officials to use the Day of Mourning and Women’s Month campaign to raise the call for an end to gender-based violence, and to advocate for the full realisation of human rights and achievements of gender equality,” Dlamini said.

South Africa celebrates Women’s Month in August to commemorate the successes and achievements of women.

100 Years of Women’s Struggles

Government will commemorate this year’s Women’s Month under the theme: “100 Years of Women’s Struggles: Together fighting Gender-Based Violence”.

This year’s commemoration takes on a special significance as it is the year of the “triple centenary”, where South Africa celebrates the birth of struggle icons Mama Albertina Sisulu and Tata Nelson Mandela, as well as the formation of the Bantu Women’s League.

Mama Sisulu’s centenary celebration will form a core thrust of Women’s Month as the country pays tribute to her and the many women leaders of her generation.

Sisulu was one of the organisers of the anti-pass Women’s March in 1956 and played a key role in its planning.

The sub-theme for Women’s Month captures the focus on the Centenary of Mama Sisulu and is distinct from, but integral to the Women’s Month theme which has the slogan “Albertina Sisulu: A Woman of Fortitude”.

During the month, the Minister will visit and engage with various stakeholders including Faith Based Organisations, gender activists, NGOs, youth formations, traditional leaders, and business sector to create awareness on issues of GBV.

Importantly, the visits and engagements with communities and stakeholders will be used to solicit partnership for the fight against Gender-Based Violence.

The Department of Women has developed a programme of activities for the Women’s Month that will build up to the Women’s day [09 August] and further roll out over the rest of the month. A comprehensive calendar can be accessed on

Follow the DOW on Twitter @Dept of Women and use the #GBVDayofmourning hashtag to join the conversation. Together we can put an end to the abuse of women and children. –