2,000 women marched through Cape Town on Saturday, demanding an end to outdated perceptions of rape and rape victims. The march is the latest example of the ‘slutwalk’ phenomenon, which has spread rapidly around the world since the first slutwalk was organised in Toronto earlier this year.
The slutwalk movement began when a police officer in Canada allegedly claimed that women could avoid the risk of rape by not dressing like ‘sluts’. That comment caused anger in Canada, with women marching to protest the idea that a woman can somehow ‘encourage’ or even ‘invite’ rape because of the way she dresses.
The first slutwalk was held in April. Since then, the movement has become popular around the world. In June, Britain saw its first slutwalks as marches were held in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Glasgow.
The slutwalk in Cape Town aimed to draw attention to South Africa’s high levels of rape and sexual assault, with more than 55,000 reported cases between 2009 and 2010 and the number increasing every year for the past few years.