March on Noord Street taxi rank

Monday 25 February 2008 by Ahmed

On Sunday 17 February a young 25 year old women was assaulted when taxi drivers and hawkers at Noord Taxi Rank tore off her clothes and sexually molested her. It is claimed that she was being taught a lesson for wearing a miniskirt.

The Remmoho Women’s Forum marched to Noord Street taxi rank on Friday, 29 February 2008, to demand measures be taken to ensure security from this kind of violence against women.

As women from progressive social movements in Gauteng we strongly condemn the barbaric harassment of the young women but we also recognize that this is not an isolated incident. Thousands of women travel by taxi daily. Many of us are faced with bad treatment, exposure to sexist stickers in the taxis that insult us as women and in many cases we are sexually harassed, abused and even raped. We have had enough of being treated with no respect, as sexual objects and exposed to sexual violence.

We are supposed to have a constitution, and a police force that protects us but as in the case of the woman at Noord Taxi rank, many of us feel that we are left defenceless and let down by the people who are supposed to protect us. The security guards and the police claimed that they were unaware and unable to help the young girl at Noord from being molested.

As Remmoho we see our role as defending the dignity, safety and security of all women.

We are therefore calling on all women to mobilize around the following demands:

- That we get a public update on the police progress in the investigation in finding the perpetrators
- That the perpetrators be charged with rape
- That Noord be declared a hot spot with high police visibility
- That cameras be placed in the Noord Taxi Rand and that cameras in and around Noord be checked regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly
- That Noord be cleaned up and that the municipality regulate the levels of noise, cleanliness, lights and safety and security
- That all taxi associations develop a Code of Conduct for the treatment of passengers particularly women and that this code bee made public.
- That the Code of Conduct replace disgusting and demeaning stickers in the Taxis
- That the taxi associations together with women’s groups develop an education programme on sexual harassment for taxi drivers

We call on all concerned citizens to join us in a march to the Noord Taxi Rank to defend our rights as women.

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