What: a peaceful march
– to raise awareness of business communities in South Africa that by doing business with Russia, they are contributing to the violence against civilians, particularly women and children; and
– against the delay of the Government of South Africa in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Where and when: gather at the Whalebone pier at Umhlanga promenade at 14:45 to start marching along Umhlanga promenade at 15:00.
We, the Ukrainian Association of South Africa, call on all responsible businesses to immediately and decisively stop cooperation with Russia. And we appeal to the South African Government to immediately and unequivocally condemn Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and to contribute to eradication and prevention of gender-based violence, both in Ukraine and South Africa.
August is recognized as Women’s Month in South Africa to acknowledge the women’s fight for human rights. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has a huge impact on women and girls, including the horrors of sexual and gender-based violence, often irreversible both physiologically and psychologically. There are hundreds of reported and even more unreported cases of Russian soldiers deliberately using sexual assault as a regular weapon of intimidation and humiliation against Ukrainian women and children.
Since the Russian invasion, women in Ukraine gave birth to 63,000 children, and many of them born under the Russian missile strikes and in the bomb shelters. Numerous prenatal clinics in different parts of Ukraine have been shelled, and others have reported a rise in the rate of preterm births, with the rates doubling or tripling due to increased stress and medical issues that have resulted from the invasion. A clinic in Kharkiv reported premature births on as high as 50% of all deliveries, three times the pre-Russian invasion rate.