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National #SafeTaxisNow Charter for women

National #SafeTaxisNow Charter for women

When accessing taxis, women are exposed to gender-based violence in the form of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. We are calling on the South African public to contribute to a national #SafeTaxisNow charter for women.

“The taxi ranks themselves are unsafe, we are mugged and sexually harassed. We need security and ways to report such incidents in the immediate vicinity like taxi association security patrolling the ranks or stickers with driver’s details and an effective hotline to report any incidents” Thuli Ngubane, a taxi commuter from Soweto

When accessing taxis, women are exposed to gender-based violence in the form of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape [1]. In the recent months, we have witnessed increased reports of taxi rapes in Johannesburg [2]. One such case involved a woman who was raped in front of her 10 year old child [3]. These cases point to women’s safety challenges in accessing public transport.

Soul City Institute for Social Justice together with other women’s organisations are embarking on a campaign that seeks to create a safe public transportation system for women. The campaign is aimed at coming up with strategies to make public transport safe for women. One of these strategies is developing a national charter to make taxis safer for women.

To South African public and women’s organisations

Everyday women are killed, raped and brutalised, not by monsters, but the men with whom we share our beds, homes, workplaces, churches and streets. The men in our daily spaces. Many reports of kidnappings, assaults, rapes and murders of women and children are at the hands of taxi drivers. Very few are brought to justice for these ongoing crimes which, along with their victims, are clearly not being prioritised.

We invite you to imagine with us what a safe and efficient public transport system should look like for women, particularly the taxi industry.

We are calling on the South African public to contribute to a national #SafeTaxisNow charter for women. This charter should stipulate the actions the Department of transport and Taxi Associations must take to guarantee women’s safety while accessing taxis.

[1] http://www.actionaid.org/south-africa/news/womens- freedom-move- restricted-violence-and- gender-blindness\

[2] http://city-press.news24.com/News/3- arrested-in- taxi-rape- cases-as- more-women-come- forward-20170324a

[3] http://ewn.co.za/2017/03/23/joburg-woman- raped-in- taxi-in- front-of- her-son