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South Africa

In South Africa, femicide is five times higher than the global average and South African women are demanding a change. On September 1st at the conference center for the World Economic Forum (WEF), hundreds of mainly female protesters attempted to storm the building demanding protections for women in South Africa. The march occurred after the death of a 19-yr old woman, who was killed attempting to pick up a package at a local post office. The government has responded by acknowledging that something needs to be done to address the issue of gender-based violence in South Africa. After the protests at the WEF, the presidential special advisor on gender-based violence told protesters that there are plans to be implemented soon to address the issue, though none of the protesters are convinced that any significant actions will be taken.

Additionally, South Africa has seen protests linked to the murder of George Floyd in the United States. The murder of a black man by a white police officer struck a chord in South Africa, where the horrors of the apartheid system are still only a generation away. South Africans have organized vigils to stand in solidarity with the African-American community in the United States, and to draw attention to lingering inequality in South African society. In April, a South African man was beaten and choked by law enforcement officers enforcing the country’s COVID-19 lockdown, which reiterated the need to draw attention to the issue of police brutality in South Africa. One of South Africa’s opposition parties organized peaceful protests to occur outside of the United States’ consular offices around the country, where demonstrators carried signs depicting the Black Lives Matter movement and called for racial equality.

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