District Mail

‘Women still liv­ing in fear’

- Patriarchy · Sexism · Women's Rights · Society · Discrimination · Feminism · Infectious Diseases · Human Rights · Social Movements · Health Conditions · South Africa · Africa · Cyril Ramaphosa · Namibia

While the Covid-19 pan­demic dras­ti­cally changes lives glob­ally, an­other se­ri­ous pan­demic con­tin­ues to rav­age the lives of women in South Africa.

This month we com­mem­o­rate and sup­pos­edly cel­e­brate the role and ex­cel­lence of women in so­ci­ety amid grave con­cerns around the safety of the women of this coun­try. The na­tional crime statis­tics showed that gen­der­based vi­o­lence (GBV) and sex­ual crimes again in­creased – and sadly these are just the re­ported cases.

Un­der lock­down women and chil­dren are more vul­ner­a­ble, suf­fer­ing at the hands of men of­ten known to them. Women are still dis­crim­i­nated against in all spheres and gen­der equal­ity is non-ex­is­tent. Com­men­ta­tors ques­tion what ex­actly we are cel­e­brat­ing...

A lit­tle un­der a year ago, after the killing of Uyinene Mr­wetyana, thou­sands of pro­test­ers added their voices to the #AmINext move­ment, de­mand­ing gov­ern­ment take ac­tion against per­pe­tra­tors of GBV and call­ing for harsher pun­ish­ments.

Ad­dress­ing the crowds out­side Par­lia­ment, Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa said gov­ern­ment agreed “enough is enough”. In an ad­dress to the na­tion later, he shared gov­ern­ment’s plan to ad­dress the GBV scourge by re­view­ing laws on do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and sex­ual of­fences to pri­ori­tise the in­ter­ests of sur­vivors, and crimes against women and chil­dren should at­tract harsher min­i­mum sen­tences, with the state op­pos­ing bail in all these cases.

In June, Ramaphosa again said he was ap­palled by the many femi­cide cases. Many prom­ises have been made, but very lit­tle ac­tion is seen, and the women of SA are still liv­ing in fear.

A year later, these crimes crip­ple women, pre­vent­ing them from liv­ing to their full po­ten­tial, and true gen­der equal­ity re­mains an ide­al­is­tic no­tion.

Vrees vir die virus lê by die meeste mense vlak – tog is daar ook on­ver­skil­ligheid, ve­ral dié wat nie gesig­maskers dra nie wat ’n mens tot ’n mate beskerm.

Dit is moei­like tye, mense kry nie werk nie, kos is skaars en die basiese het du­ur­der geword – vir som­miges selfs on­bekostig­baar. Ons ken al­mal ie­mand wat swaarkry in dié tyd.

Die pan­demie het ook die beste in die mens na vore ge­bring. Mense wat hulle ont­ferm oor mense wat hul werk ver­loor het, of pen­sioe­narisse wat son­der kind of kraai die moei­like om­standighed­e moet oorkom. Won­der­like omgee van bure wat die ek­stra myl geloop het. Dan is daar die won­der­like or­gan­isas­ies wat in staat

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