South African women have very little to celebrate this Women’s Month. Just this week, a young woman, Khensani Maseko, just 23 years of age and a student at Rhodes University, committed suicide after allegedly being raped by her boyfriend.
Lately, there have been many reports of violence against woman and many high profile South African men have fallen into the category of abusers, with women physically, emotionally and sexually abused daily.
On Wednesday, 1 August, women from all works of life formed movement, a group called “TotalShutdown” marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to mark women’s month.
The activists handed a memorandum to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who said “In the end it is not us men that have the solution; You, as women, have the solution and have given it to us”, referring the memorandum, which gives a clear direction to empowering and protecting South African
The march reminds us of 9 August 1956, when more than 20 000 South African women of all races staged a march on the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the .pass laws.
62 years later women are still marching to the Union Buildings to communicate their plight with South African men who dehumanise, murder and torture women.
We need radical change in our society and our mindsets. We must educate children on the value of women and how women should be treated from a young age. We need to push the agenda through our own sons to make a change for our society. Let us talk to our young and old men in the privacy of our homes to ensure that they can and will respect women.
Change is here, change is now.