Durban is to set to make a powerful global statement in August, Women’s Month, when women from around the world converge on the city in a unified stand against child abuse and gender-based violence. Mrs Universe contestants from 84 countries will join NGO’s, women’s groups, civil society bodies and members of the public for the #OneVoice march in the city centre on 30 August 2017.
Dressed in black and wearing a gold ribbon, the women will gather at King Dinizulu Park from 8am and make their way to the Durban City Hall at 10am to speak out in #OneVoice on behalf of the millions of women and children worldwide who have suffered, and continue to suffer, at the hands of their abusers. In South Africa alone, official figures are alarming – pointing to a woman being murdered every eight hours by someone she knows. On a global scale, gender-based violence and violations against children are escalating despite intervention and prevention efforts.
“The #OneVoice march taps into the theme for this year’s Mrs Universe event, Empowering women. Creating change. What could be more hard-hitting than women from all over the world, from different backgrounds and communities, speaking out in a collective voice against the scourge of women and child abuse?” says Mrs Universe 2017 Hosting Director: Africa, Durban resident, TraceyAnne Aggett. “We want governments, communities, civil society groups, men and women to join forces to protect our women and children. This is an international outcry; a global declaration that enough is enough.”
While Durban will be speaking out with #OneVoice on 30 August 2017, simultaneous peaceful protests will be held across the globe to highlight the concerns over child abuse and gender-based violence. Mrs Universe contests from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, India, U.S.A, Ukraine, North Asia and Gibraltar to name a few, have organised #OneVoice marches in their home countries to coincide with the SA event.
Here in SA, interest groups and individuals from around the country who cannot travel to Durban will be hosting their own #OneVoice protests albeit on a smaller scale. “We’ve been truly humbled by the support,” says Aggett. “The interest from men and women across the country has been overwhelming and inspirational. People want their voices heard and action to be taken. As South Africans and as members of a global community, we want to amplify awareness and steamroll action plans.”
KZN schools have also pledged their support to the #OneVoice march. Pupils from Vukuzakhe High School and Menzi High School in Umlazi, Durban Academy from the Bluff and Bhekisisa High School from Ntuzuma are among those who have confirmed involvement.
Mrs Universe 2017 unites and celebrates married women between the ages of 25 and 45, who are doing phenomenal work to uplift and enhance their local communities through CSI initiatives, business development and global trade opportunities. The Mrs Universe 2017 World Final takes place at Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on 2 September 2017. It is the first time the event will be held on African soil. For more details visit http://www.mrsuniverse2017.co.za/