Gender-based violence (GBV) has become a vicious killer. It is taking lives at every turn and has grown prominent, now more than ever.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we are currently being faced with another pandemic, which is GBV. The rate of ruthless and vicious attacks against women has steadily been rising in the recent period. Women are dying almost every day due to gender-based violence.
The society in which we live has never been safe for women. Women have been oppressed, mistreated, used and abused for centuries. Women have always been seen as weaker beings, only good for making babies and taking care of the household. Women’s roles include being good in the kitchen and in the bedroom – or so they say. In recent times women have started standing up and speaking up for themselves, and empowering themselves. But, despite this, women are still extremely marginalised, still overlooked when it comes to job placements and if they do get jobs, they are still paid less compared to male counterparts in the same position.
Women probably play the most important role in society. As reproducers, women produce life. Without women there would be no life, and men seem to have forgotten this. In South Africa, many women and girls are killed and tortured every day, enduring abuse and harassment on a daily basis.
So far there have been many cases of gender-based violence reported. Recently this includes, Tshegofatso Pule, a 28 year old pregnant woman, who was stabbed and hanged; the hate killing of a young woman who was part of the LGBTQI community; and the rape and murder of a grandmother. There are hundreds of similar cases that get swept under the rug. With such incidents occurring on a regular basis, South African women are at risk of becoming the next victim each day.
Women live in constant fear of danger as men still feel that they are entitled to women’s bodies. With patriarchy still prevalent in today’s society, there is no end in sight for gender-based violence. Men clearly are the main perpetrators, so instead of only teaching girls and women how to be safe and not draw attention to themselves, or make themselves targets, we should teach boys and men to protect women, to stop violence and to refrain from victimising women and girls. Parents should also raise their children to be more loving and acceptable towards others. Let us raise better people, for future generations.
This article was submitted on 17 August 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.