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“My body is not your crime scene”

'My body is mine'.

Statistics have shown that in this country more than 60% of women have been abused in one way or the other. It also showed that abuse is inflicted by people known and related to the victim.

It is because of these shocking revelations that activism against gender-based violence was intensified this year. It reached new heights at the beginning of August which is Women’s Month when women from all walks of life across the country marched against gender-based violence.

They were marching under the theme, “My body is not your crime scene.”

Of course, there were other campaigns that ran throughout the month with an aim of raising awareness and educating people about the dangers of gender-based violence.

One such campaign is the Redefining Beauty campaign initiated by Celebration of Life with an aim of celebrating and appreciating the beauty of female bodies in all types, shapes and sizes.

The campaign which has been running for a few years now took a different turn this year and focused on the fight against gender-based violence.

“In a country where 63 women are killed a month, what’s there for women to celebrate during Women’s month? That’s the question that we all should be pondering on,” says Kamogelo Magabane, founder if the Redefining Beauty campaign.

It is because of such questions that this year’s campaign was not only about celebrating women but it was also about raising awareness about the persecutions women face in this country every day.

Magabane explained, “As women, we know that it is because of our bodies that we are killed and so we will use our bodies to send out a message.

“The ladies who participate in the shoot wear red underwear, swimsuit or kanga. The vision behind this initiative is to produce a collection of thought-provoking images that portray the different kinds of female body types and shapes.”

Women of all body shapes and sizes were invited to take part in the campaign which took place on Women’s Day.

Under the hashtag #MyBodyIsMine women stood boldly in front of the camera wearing nothing but their red underwear and took pictures which should spark conversations about women and the challenges they face.

The fact that the campaign raised awareness about gender-based violence did not take away the fact that it was celebrating the beauty of women and their bodies.

According to Magabane beauty is not limited to what is always portrayed in glossy magazines and other media platforms.

“So much of the beliefs and thoughts women keep and the decisions women make are related to what the world thinks about them.

“It’s time for women to take off the labels and take charge in their own definition of what beauty is or means to them,” explains Magabane.

Through the Redefining Beauty campaign, women are taking a first step in removing labels from their bodies and defining themselves what beauty means to them.

It is also their way of adding their voices to the fight against gender-based violence and their bodies belong to them and them only.

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