Not yet uhuru for South African women
In 1956, 9 August, close to 20 000 South African women of mixed races gathered and unison and marched to the Union buildings in Pretoria. Where they earned their independence in the midst of blood shed, and a brutal apartheid system in South Africa. However, this day seems to have been in vain, if women today are still not free.
It is that time of the year again, August, where companies, government departments and society at large put come together to plan campaigns, marches, hashtags celebrating women and their ‘freedom’, while the public are inundated with posts about women’s being lost at the hands of their partners, children are being abused and murdered. The abuse of women has not stopped. It is that time of the year, to record more femicide, more rapes and abuse of women and children. It is that time of the year to endure pain of being abused by a man, who promised to love and protect them.
A typical act during women’s month, is where most people show their feminist thoughts and their support of pro-women events, however they do not understand the values upheld by those who are real feminists.
During an African Gender Institute seminar, feminist, Sarah Longwe, explained the importance of commitment in fighting for equality of women and everyone to those who calls themselves alliances.
“Feminism is about treating everyone equally, as a feminist you want everyone to be treated with human rights and dignity and you are committed enough to ensure that everyone as access to that equality,” explained Longwe.
Durban resident, Thabani Xele, a man, recently criticised the way government departments react to the abuse of women and questioned the lack of educational programmes seeking to educate men and communities about what constitutes abuse of women and children, instead programmes seeks to paint men as perpetrators of violence without offering the necessary support to help rehabilitate and bring about change in communities.
“To be honest we, as men need to be taught how to treat women in this country. This should not be a one month thing, however, everyday should be a Women’s Day,” explained Xele.