Every year as part of White Ribbon Day, BAWSO (a Welsh organisation which supports and protects women from the BME community against gender based violence) organises a march on the 25th of November to raise awareness against gender based violence.
SSAP joined the march along with many other Welsh organisations. Hundreds of people, men and women came together to voice their condemnation of GBV and show solidarity with victims and survivors.
The march started from Cathedral road in Cardiff to Llandaff Cathedral were a service was held.
During the march, participants sang ‘we shall overcome’ a prominent protest song which resonates with many female survivors of gender based violence on their road to self-empowerment and recovery.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’
There were speeches from Alimatu Dimonkene who is an activist and survivor of FGM and from various community and faith leaders. Each voiced the pain and horrors many women go through and the need for communities to come together, support women affected and challenge GBV.
During her passionate speech, Alimatu spoke of the inner demons women have to fight that fall victim to gender based violence. She noted that the voices of victims and survivors do matter and need to be heard which is why it is important for the correct support mechanisms to be in place to help women and young girls.
Faith leaders from the Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Hindu community echoed that although all religions have a history of marginalising women and condoning violence against women we must work together in stopping these practices. They pointed out the importance of communities being vocal against GBV and not hiding behind religious scriptures, noting that communities are critical in changing behaviours.
The Welsh Communities and Children Secretary Carl Sargeant stated that ‘we must continue not to condone or remain silent about violence against women’ and continue the support for women and young girls.