“The rate of femicide is 5 times the global rate and 1 woman is murdered every 3 hours. South Africa is the rape capital of the world with 132 incidents per 100 000 people”

 

The increase of Gender Based Violence cases is at a staggering rate in South Africa and the number of victims continues to rise swiftly.

Gender-based violence remains a feature in the lives of millions of women and girls around the world and South Africa has become a society where violence has been normalized.

South Africa now faces two pandemics, Covid-19 and the violence against women and young girls that has risen sharply and as a result, the government declared GBV as a national crisis in 2020.

With the threat of the COVID-19 global pandemic, South African women and girls have had to experience another threat daily- GBV.

The lockdown resulted to an increase in GBV cases where the victims were forced to quarantine with their perpetrators.

Alcohol abuse is also a primary driver of the abuse towards women and young girls and while there are those who survived the violence, there are many who died from the violence.

We cannot ignore the fact that gender power inequality rooted in patriarchy is the primary driver of GBV.

Our country has minimized the role of women and they are subject of ownership to men that creates a self-fulfilling narrative about men and women and puts the vulnerability of women at the hands of men to an even sharper focus.

The levers of power in many nations and organisations rest in the hands of men thus men in our society feel that they have control over women which leads to the abuse, in its different forms.

 According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) up to 70% of women are faced with physical, sexual, psychological and/or economic abuse by an intimate partner at some point.

This fact is widespread across many societies. People nationwide have been gathering in protests as a result of the upsurge of the brutal attacks on women and girls.

These protests gave rise to the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Movement, which birthed many other organisations which are working towards the fight against GBV and bringing about change in South Africa.

But, although this is the case, is it unfortunate that we are still far from our achievement in realising a country free of violence against women and girls.

Women and young girls across SA live in fear and each day we wake up to a missing person alert or a picture of a female with a ‘RIP’ caption.

The most debilitating aspect is the nature of these deaths, these women and girls are brutally murdered, some are burned to death, some are chopped into pieces, come are beaten and some are shot dead.

Police minister Bheki Cele recently reported that 10 000 people were raped between April and June in 2021.

The rate of femicide is 5 times the global rate and 1 woman is murdered every 3 hours.

South Africa is the rape capital of the world with 132 incidents per 100 000 people.

It’s important to note that behind these numbers are real people. May we never give up in the fight against women, we are far from our achievement but we’ve surly come along way.

Uyinene Mrwetyans – A student from University of Cape Town was raped and killed at a post office in Claremont by a post office employee.

Nosicelo Mtebeni– killed by her boyfriend who dismembered her body and stuffed it into a suitcase.

Tshegofatso Pule– Was eight months pregnant, stabbed and hanged from a tree by her partner who was the father of the child she was carrying.

Women are the hub of the nation and the world would be at a standstill without them. In SA they are referred to as IMBOKODO-grinding rock. They are powerful and fierce. Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them and may we raise them.

 

 

 

Nandile Mnguni
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