Women’s​ month 2018.

6 Aug

My three passions in, life are women, Africa, and the arts. I live for actively campaigning for women rights, issue, and empowerment. Over the past years, I have cringed when we approach August as in South Africa, the month is supposed to be dedicated to women as we celebrate Women’s Day on 9 August. I believe that we should acknowledge our successes but I cringe at the fact of​ how the message and meaning​ have​​ changed. It has become a time for certain government departments and​ corporates to suddenly organise pink tea parties, and dedicate the time to flowers and frills. I cringe at​​ the messaging sent out seems to assume that women are only about flowers, tea and feeling pretty. My concern is that many​ of these companies, government institutions do not have secure gender equality initiatives in place, many do not take sexual harassment seriously and often overlook rape and abuse reports, often siding with the perpetrator and labeling​​g the survivor as unstable and questionable.

This year, we started the month with The Total shutdown nationwide march:
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Taken from their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/449268378857683/about/

On the 1st of August 2018, a day that marks the beginning of women’s month, women from all sectors of South Africa will shut down the country in protest against gender-based violence.
Women in Lesotho and Botswana will also form part of the mass action.
We have nothing to celebrate. Every week we receive multiple reports of women who have been brutally murdered, kidnapped, or abused, and there is no sense of urgency from our leaders to find ways in which society can tackle this violence.
Women, children, gender non-conforming people (GNC), and the LGBTQIA+ keep dying at the hands of men in South Africa and something needs to be done.
This is a national crisis. We call on all women to stay away from work and join the protest on the 1st of August 2018 in their respective provinces, Universities, and colleges.
A memorandum of demands will be handed over to the ​government on the day of the shutdown with clear actions. Further information will be shared about the protest action over the following weeks.

We saw women across the country, in Lesotho and Botswana, taking to the streets demanding​ our rights.

As we make strides and continue we are often taken back by insincere individuals who do not understand the impact that rape has on individuals and society. Rape and all forms of abuse need to be seen as a trauma, this​ trauma can lead to many other issues such as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) anxiety, depression, suicide, fibromyalgia and many others.
For centuries society has placed the blame on the survivors, statements such as:

She asked for it.
What was she wearing?
Boys will be boys.
How can a husband rape his wife?
He has apologised

In many cases,​ the survivor’s​ sexual history and past have been put on display and use as an argument to justify the crime. Another common fact is that convicted​​ rapists and abusers​ are often celebrated​, like we saw with Brickz, who has been convicted of Rape, invited perform at an event.
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The organiser of the event, Perfecta Khumalo, tried to justify their actions but basically stating that money is more important than ethics.:

There was a lot of outrage over this but this just proves our point on how people choose to protect​ the perpetrators​​s and how many of them are women. I do believe​ that we should​ give credit when its due. In this case,​ I wish​ to salute TransaAfrica Radio.net for removing themselves from the event as stated by their CEO Busi Ntuli, the CEO of TransAfricaradio.net automatically took the lead and removed​ her station as one of the sponsors.

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Another glorified abuser is Mududuzi Manana.
I fail to see him as a legend!

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So the question still remains​, can we really celebrate when we do no​t have equal rights, we live in fear and we cannot rely on the officials who are supposed to protect​ us.
The struggle continues, Aluta Continua!

If you need assistance​ please contact us at http://www.powa.co.za

-End

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