Police refused to allow women in Swaziland to march in protest against gender-based violence.
They told the women they could not march because police and the local chief did not want any noise ahead of the election soon to be held in the kingdom.
The march at Siphofaneni was to protest at an incident in the area when a wife was paraded naked for three kilometres by her boyfriend after he accused her of being ‘promiscuous’.
The Swaziland Rural Women’s Assembly responded by organizing a march in solidarity with the woman. They wanted to march for three kilometres in the area then go to a church and hold a prayer against gender based violence.
Reports from the scene today (29 May 2013) say police and the chief of the area yesterday refused permission to march or hold the prayer service.
However, SRWA decided to defy the ban and continue with the march.
Social media from Swaziland report one eyewitness saying, ‘Upon assembling and preparing for the march the police told us to go away and stop our “shit” because, “they don’t want noise here”’.