Video high­lights women’s need for safe taxis

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - @Zwane_2li2ls NOKUTHULA ZWANE

THE Soul City In­sti­tute for So­cial Jus­tice has re­leased a so­cial ex­per­i­ment video to drum up sup­port for the #SafeTax­iNow char­ter for women fol­low­ing re­cent at­tacks on women and chil­dren.

The so­cial ex­per­i­ment shows two women walk­ing silently with a hid­den cam­era through taxi ranks in Joburg, in­clud­ing Alex Taxi rank, Wan­der­ers Taxi Rank and Park sta­tion, to high­light how women are ha­rassed daily.

Through­out a clip taken from the ex­plicit video, men can be seen mak­ing ran­dom com­ments such as “hello baby, hello”.

“A o mphe di-num­ber” (give me your con­tact num­ber) and “Hawu, why are you walk­ing away?”

Over 150 in­ci­dents of ha­rass­ment were recorded dur­ing film­ing that took 10 hours.

The in­sti­tute’s ad­vo­cacy man­ager, Ma­tokgo Maku­toane, said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was con­sult­ing with the pub­lic, es­pe­cially women, to come up with a na­tional safe taxis char­ter to make pub­lic trans­port safe for women.

“The char­ter is also aimed at high­light­ing gen­der-based vi­o­lence in the coun­try and the un­safe en­vi­ron­ments women are ex­posed to, such as taxi ranks,” said Maku­toane.

“We want to put pres­sure on the po­lice and crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem to hold per­pe­tra­tors to ac­count and treat women’s cases sen­si­tively and se­ri­ously,” she said.

Soweto Women’s Fo­rum rep­re­sen­ta­tive Zuk­iswa White said last week that the vul­ner­a­ble lived in a so­ci­ety that did not pro­tect its cit­i­zens.

She ap­pealed to the gov­ern­ment and com­mu­nity lead­ers to lis­ten to women’s voices.

“Our spa­ces are be­ing vi­o­lated and we be­come vul­ner­a­ble,” she said.

White said it was im­por­tant for the taxi in­dus­try to adopt a na­tional safe taxis char­ter as it was one of the ini­tia­tives needed to pro­tect women com­muters.

Hawu, why are you walk­ing away?

Ma­tokgo Maku­toane

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