Soul City Institute for Social Justice launches #SafeTaxisNow Charter for women

The Soul City Institute for Social Justice has launched a #SafeTaxisNow Charter for women following its discussion on violence experienced by women in taxis or at taxi ranks.

The charter will aim to ensure that rape survivors are aware of the steps to take following a rape as well as encourage awareness of the services available to them. Soul City has also been working on a National Safe Taxi Charter and has begun the process of lobbying for regulation in the taxi industry. They also want to ensure that the police and criminal justice systems are accountable.

Matokgo Makutoane of the Institute said they hoped that the charter would promote the use of Thutuzela Care Centre’s. There are more than 50 of these centre’s around the country which specifically deal with rape victims to provide care, reduce secondary victimisation and improve conviction rates.

The goal is also to create a safe public transport system for women. “As a social justice organisation, we are consulting with the public and especially with women to come up with a National Safe Taxi Charter to make public transport safe for women,” said Makutoane. “The charter is also aimed at highlighting the scourge of gender-based violence in the country and the unsafe environments women are exposed to such as taxi ranks.

“We want to put pressure on the police and criminal justice systems to hold perpetrators to account and take women’s cases sensitively and seriously.”
Zukiswa White of the Soweto Women’s Forum (SWF) said, “We know that proximity to resources impacts the kind of services available to women, so it’s important for us as the SWF to really empower communities of women and facilitate justice.

Makutoane added, “We are inviting South Africans to contribute to the national #SafeTaxisNow charter for women. “Women need to mobilise in their own communities and take a stand against any form of abuse towards women and children.”

Read: Women harassed at taxi ranks #SafeTaxisNow

Tell us your thoughts on the #SafeTaxisNow charter for women on WhatsApp 079 439 5349.

Laura Pisanello

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