On 1 August 2018, women of all religions, races and cultures united as one for the total shutdown march against gender based violence. The march began at Curries Fountain Stadium and proceeded towards the Durban City Hall. Fourth-year Occupational Therapy students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who are currently engaging in community fieldwork, participated in the march. The aim of the march was to raise awareness about femicide and to put an end to it. The theme colours of the march were black and red as these represent the colours of human rights. The message that was conveyed throughout the march was that “a woman’s body is not a man’s crime scene”.

‘It was nice to see women work together as a unit towards achieving a common goal,’ said Lindelwa Mamba, one of the Occupational Therapy students who attended the march. Mamba and her colleagues felt proud to observe the power that women can offer and felt a strong need to adopt a project of their own to initiate within the community that they work in – KwaDabeka. The Occupational Therapy students have initiated a domestic violence awareness project in KwaDabeka aimed at educating high school learners and community members on the prevalence of domestic violence and the support that they can access to ensure safety.

Nozipho Tembe, another Occupational Therapy student said, ‘I hope we can make a difference when we work in the community and achieve success in our project.’ The students have been working diligently towards their domestic violence awareness project which will be initiated at uMqhele High School in KwaDabeka.

Words and photograph: Aziza Mulla