South African women have taken to the streets to protect their rights to wear mini-skirts. Demonstrators came out in force in Johannesburg, waving placards that read “We love our minis” after two women were assaulted for wearing mini-skirts.
The two women were attacked at a Johannesburg rank for minibus taxis in December, allegedly by waiting drivers, the BBC reported.
South Africa has one of the world’s highest incidences of rape. Some men of traditional and rural backgrounds reportedly believe women should not wear revealing clothing.
The organisers said they wanted to end “patriarchal views still entrenched in parts of South Africa’s society”.
The ruling African National Congress Women’s League said it had called the march to emphasise that women had the right wear whatever they wanted without fear of victimisation.
Several cabinet ministers and the governor of Gauteng province were amongst those taking part.
During the march, Women’s Minister Lulu Xingwana warned that she would close down the taxi rank if such harassment continued.
One protester said: “Each time when you go to the taxi rank to get into the taxi, you are always abused and harassed, so we feel it is not fair.
“This is a free country, we have a right to wear whatever we want, nobody must stop us.”
The two women, who were attacked at the Noord Street rank in central Johannesburg, reported the harassment to police.
According to the South African Press Association, they were taunted by a group of men who groped them, pulled their clothing and took photos of them with their mobile phones.
Police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said to date no suspects had been identified or arrested, South Africa’s Sowetan newspaper reports.