Thousands of women marched across the Pretoria CBD on Wednesday to demand an end to violence against women.

Under the Total Shut Down movement, women marched to the Union Buildings to hand to president Cyril Ramaphosa their memorandum of demands. The march in Pretoria was one of many which took place around the country on Wednesday.

The marches are a response to the large number of women, children and LBGTIQ+ people who are abused or killed by men in South Africa.

Among others, the movement is demanding a clear message from the president by Women’s Day (August 9) that gender based violence against women (GBVAW) will not be tolerated, a review of past national action plans against GBVAW and development of criteria for individuals tasked with leading efforts to end violence against women.

Even though they want Ramaphosa to see the memorandum, one of the leaders of the march, Loyiso Saliso says they are not sending him, they are showing him solutions and demanding that he implement them.

“We are not going to thuma another man to teach other men how to be decent human beings. Treat us like you would treat yourself,” says Saliso.

She also warned that ignoring them would have implications for the ruling party in the 2019 elections.

Women from across the province joined the march saying they are tired of being abused.

Nomahlubi from Kagiso in the East Rand came with her four-months-old girl because she says she has been abused by men all her life and she wants them to learn from an early age how to defend themselves.

Mpho Macchamcers from Pretoria says she came to raise awareness for disabled women who she says suffer even more.

At the march some women shared their stories about being raped and abused by the men they live with and strangers.

An elderly woman shared how she was raped by her partner at home. She never reported him but today she says she has found her voice and wants to encourage others to do the same.

A young woman from Zimbabwe told of how she was gang raped by five men and left for dead only to be asked at the hospital what she did to make the men to rape her.