Trigger warning: This post discusses violence against women and children. Please don’t continue reading if you will be emotionally disturbed by this article.
Yesterday was the first day of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign which seeks to create awareness and stop violence against women and children. 16 Days of activism for non violence against women and children starts annually on the 25th of November and lasts till the 10th of December. South Africa is faced with extreme levels of violence against women and children. According to Africa check ”
The police recorded 40,035 rapes in 2017/18, up from 39,828 in 2016/17. An average of 110 rapes were recorded by the police each day.
The rape rate decreased from 71.3 per 100,000 people to 70.5.
But “rape statistics recorded by the police cannot be taken as an accurate measure of either the extent or trend of this crime”, the Institute for Security Studies warns.
Also, the number of rapes committed each year cannot be estimated because there is no underreporting rate for South Africa that is recent or representative”
Sadly the campaigns have not been effective. Abuse and murder is escalating and becoming more gruesome in South Africa. South Africa has no national coordinated plan to combat violence against women. The Sonke Gender Justice a key NGO in South Africa has continuously called for a national plan to stop gender violence. However, the political will to implement such a plan is just not present amongst South African political parties. The opposition parties according to my knowledge have not lobbied together to tackle this issue. There were huge marches against the former President Jacob Zuma but, I have never seen a march with similar numbers against the violence which is being perpetrated towards children and women in South Africa.
Yesterday there was great controversy as the Minister of Women Bathabile Dlamini banned a journalist from ENCA news which is an independent tv channel in South Africa from attending the launch of the 16 days of activism. Clearly my country has a way to go. And Minister Dlamini is contravening the rights of South Africans by trying to suppress press freedom. Instead on focusing on the issue of the abuse women and children face daily media outlets are now focused on the Minister’s authoritarian attitude. I am opposed to banning the media from any public event as well. I was just hoping to be informed about what happened at the launch which isn’t being unpacked right now.
As a solo female traveller I am angry. I cannot travel freely in my own country the way I could in Europe. I do travel alone in South Africa and I do travel at night to. But, I always have to think about where I am what areas I can go to and which ones are off limits. I am part of a solo female traveller group on Facebook and one of the members posted that she’s thinking of skipping her holiday to South Africa because of all the crime. The situation has gotten out of control when people are afraid to visit. South Africa is beautiful and it is my favourite place in the world because it’s home. I’m hopeful that I will eventually have a job at an institution like Sonke Gender Justice which influences, lobbies and works tirelessly to help promote healthy gender equality for all. It time that solo female travellers don’t have to worry about visiting. It’s also time that ordinary women and children in South Africa feel safe.
For more information read:
UN image downloaded from : UN website
Thank you for reading my rant. I really appreciate it. Please feel free to comment. And I hope you have a wonderful day.
xxx Nikki xxx