SELF-PROTECTION: Lindzey Pollock and BCM councillor Sue Bentley, of the DA, demonstrate self-defence techniques in Alphendale. Picture: Michael Pinyana, Daily Dispatch
WHILE women across the country attended events where there were speeches, song and dance, the Democratic Alliance Women Network (Dawn) celebrated Women’s Day differently – training women how to defend themselves.
Dawn Eastern Cape provincial chairwoman Celeste Barker yesterday led about 100 women in a march around the streets of Vergenoeg in a quest to create awareness of genderbased violence in the area.
Later the women met at the Alphendale High School for an hour of self-defence training.
Barker said South African women were still affected by violence and there was a need for more advocacy.
“South African women continue to suffer an onslaught of gender-based discrimination,” she said.
She referred to Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana’s assault incident which took place at a popular lounge in Fourways, Johannesburg.
Manana was seen and videotaped assaulting a woman during the early hours of Sunday August 6.
“Despite our seminal constitution and the protection it affords, South African women, rural women in particular, now suffer a quadruple oppression of race, class, gender and poverty that includes patriarchy, commodification, a heritage of racist and gendered legislation and a weak and failing economy,” Barker said.
Attending the training was Nonceba Notyaleni, who said the training was essential for all women to gain confidence in themselves.
“This training was very basic but with practice it can make every female feel secured and confident, even on the streets.
“Sometimes as women we need to be able to be protect ourselves and be able to protect other women,” said Notyaleni.
Instructing the women was Sue Bentley, a BCM councillor for the DA, who said training was essential for all women.
“Now that we have trained these women, we hope that they will go home and train their own groups so that we can transfer the skills to a larger group.”
Bentley said they intended to expand the training to other wards.
“If we can train just 10 women in every ward and they train 10, we will have reached a lot of women.”
Dawn later moved to King William’s Town to do the same training.