Femicide in South Africa-Enough is Enough!
Femicide is claiming the lives of South African women daily. While the country was named the most dangerous country for solo female travelers, South African women’s every day experiences cannot be escaped after a short visit. In the last month, 30 women have died due to partner abuse. Last year, it has been said that 3 915 women and children were murdered. Men in South Africa have been trash. We have been saying this for years. South Africa’s patriarchal society has allowed for fear and insecurity to become a normalised aspect of the lives of women and girls. We may be resilient however how many of us need to die before our cries are heard?
#AmINext is the current movement to call for government intervention in the pandemic of gender-based violence in South Africa. In the wake of 19 year old first year University of Cape Town film student, Uyinene Mrwetyana who was found raped and murdered early this week, women (and a few male allies) are taking to the streets and social media rightfully declaring that “enough is enough”.
Fed up with persistent murder and rape in the country, a parallel movement #ShutdownSA is seeking to reinstate the death penalty for perpetrators. UCT has shutdown to allow for students and staff to participate in protests and activism.This is to, hopefully, be followed by other campuses nationally. Additionally, there have been calls, supported by hundreds of thousands of petition signatures, for South Africa to be declared a state of emergency. Today saw the resurgence of #NotInMyName with protests in Cape Town.
For the umpteenth time, South Africans are looking to the state to provide a society that is habitable for women. For the umpteenth time, government seems not to understand the magnitude of the issue. Instead, victim-blaming is the preferred strategy in deflecting responsibility. Women are made to bear all accountability in gender-based violence. Boys will be boys,neh?
As a Black South African women, the fear I live with is deeply engraved in my being. I am never able to relax. I worry for my safety. I stay home however even when locked up behind security bars I do not feel safe. The constant stream of posts on social media of missing girls and women prevents a feeling of safety-even when home.
On Friday 6 September 2019, in a display of solidarity for the unjust murders, rapes and disappearances of South African women, people are asked to wear black, #riseupforwomen.