Gender-based violence (GBV) is a profound and widespread problem in South Africa, impacting on almost every aspect of life. Soweto born Activist, Karabo Moshodi is on a quest to restore peace and making Joburg a safer place for women to walk the streets without being targeted.
Moshodi woke up to the news of a young lady who was gang-raped and later shot which left her heartbroken and angry. “Something in me really clicked. I was angry at the fact that not enough is being done. The only thing society is doing is hashtagging,” said Moshodi. She started a #PepperSprayCampaign to help women feel safer in the city. The campaign will be stationed in Joburg CBD, Wits campus, Braamfontein, Bree taxi rank, MTN rank and Gandhi Square.
The aim of the campaign is to train women between the ages of 18-25 with basic self-defence skills and give them pepper sprays after the training. In addition, they also have deep engagement conversations with women. The campaign currently has 15 trained volunteers who help her distribute the sprays at the pop-ups locations.
Inspired by Kenyan author Wangari Maathai, the GBV Activist took from a book about leadership that is not only the government’s responsibility to actively find solutions, but it is also the responsibility of citizens. “I am going to be part of the people who are going to be working towards making this place a better place. I had nothing to lose but one thing I knew was I did not want to go one more day knowing I didn’t do anything to contribute to this issue,” Moshodi said.
Moshodi joined forces with the City of Joburg because of the shared vision of creating a safer city for women. “I am trying to get to a point where I can walk from my place, in my short skirt, without getting cat-called and feeling uncomfortable,” she said.