GATVOL: Mass march against crime and drug abuse in Bridgetown. Photo: Monique Duval
Over 100 women took to the streets of Bridgetown on Thursday morning to show their unhappiness over gangsterism, drugs and increasing crime levels.

The mass march, organised by the Bridgetown Neighbourhood Watch on Women’s Day, was aimed at highlighting the issues and to reach out to women in the community.

VOICE: Women are urged to speak out. Photo: Monique Duval

Shortly after 10am, the large group of women gathered with placards in Tarentaal Road and marched through the streets.

Tania Ernstzen and Mariam Arendse say a group of six watch members planned the march together.

“We were a team of six ladies and we decided that for Women’s Day we are going to host a march where women can come out and raise awareness about the crime in our community,” says Tania.

“As mothers many of us are raising children and facing the same issues, but a lot of women don’t know that there is help out there.

“With the gangsterism and drug abuse, you find that a lot of moms are saying ‘it’s not my child’ when something happens, but the child is then on a crime scene.

“So we wanted to reach out and explain that they are not helping anyone by doing this so we can all tackle the crime together.”

Mariam says drug abuse and gangsterism are not the only concerns as watch members are also worried about gender-based and domestic violence in the community.

“There is abuse and some women are scared to speak up. While we are calling them to join us, it is also our way of reaching out to these women to show them that there is help for them and a community of women that cares.”

At the end of the march, the women arrived at Eros School Hall where Ward councillor Anthony Moses had prepared a special surprise for them with a lunch and foot massages.

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