Launched in August 2016 in South Africa, the Safe Ride Campaign is aimed at preventing and responding to the abuse of women and girls at the hands of minibus taxi personnel, including drivers and queue marshals. The one-year campaign will work across the country to educate the taxi community about how they can help prevent and stop harassment of and sexual violence against women and children. This will be done through peer education, community dialogues, and print and broadcast media. The campaign is being implemented by Sonke Gender Justice in partnership with the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO), with support from the Danish Embassy.
The campaign seeks to address the high number of incidents of verbal abuse, physical violence, sexual assault, and rape of girls and women at the hands of taxi drivers and queue marshals which have been recorded in many parts of South Africa.
Aimed at engaging the taxi industry (taxi associations, owners, drivers, queue marshals, key government departments, and civil society), the campaign seeks to promote respectful and non-violent behaviour towards taxi commuters to prevent gender-based violence, to promote gender equality, and ensure the safety of women and children in the taxi industry. To achieve this, the campaign works closely with taxi drivers to promote more respectful behaviour towards commuters, but also works to educate commuters about their rights and give women and girls the support to report incidents of gender-based violence.
The campaign will undertake the following activities:
- Sonke is training peer educators within the taxi industry on issues of gender equality and sexual violence. Sonke believes that it is important to engage men and therefore uses peer educators to educate other taxi drivers.
- Decals designed by local artists will be produced for a number of flagship taxis.
- Stickers with positive messaging and information on what to do if raped or threatened will be produced and displayed in taxis.
- Murals will be created at the busiest taxi ranks.
- The campaign will also get its message across on television screens at taxi ranks, in pamphlets, and on community radio.
- They will also speak to people through community dialogues and public education events.
The campaign has also produced a guide to support survivors of sexual violence, which can be downloaded here.
Gender-based Violence, Rights
Sonke Gender Justice, South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO), with support from the Danish Embassy.
Sonke Gender Justice website on January 13 2017.