By Kopano Brilliant
2020 will be recorded in the books of history as one of the worst years for South African women, who found themselves fighting two pandemics (Covid19/Corona Virus and gender-based violence) at the same time.
Our little girls, young women, mothers and grandmothers have adhered to preventative measures-as prescribed by the government- such as wearing face masks, social distancing and sanitising their hands against Covid19, but sadly, found no supportive measures in place to ensure safety against gruesome abuse behind closed doors.
Cases of gender-based violence surged in the first week of the state-imposed national Lockdown, with alarming figures indeed, defenceless women had to die in great numbers before gender activists and the country at large could begin to take serious notice.
Therefore, we need to question the true motive and value behind our annual Women’s Day celebrations. There’s absolutely no logic in expecting one day of speeches to undo the generational rot of entitlement by men.
It was furthermore condescending to hear some of our so-called gender experts (mostly men) going as far as blaming the national Lockdown, as a contributing factor towards the abuse and murder of women and young girls.
This furthermore exacerbates the rot, as it subliminally suggests that men are the sole breadwinners in South Africa. Women were equally affected by the unexpected Lockdown, they were also made to stay away from work, yet they found it in their stride to use productive means in dealing with the unforeseen crisis at hand. Women feel the pressure too, but they don’t go around waging a war on children, simply because children cannot “defend” themselves.
The police were not spared from criticism as the number of dead women kept on rising, but the honest fact is that cops cannot think on behalf of men. Our brothers and fathers should also work towards self-correction. Yes, arrests can be made, long sentences can be served, but nothing will change until men rethink their attitude towards women.
Let’s go ahead and celebrate Women’s Day, but also question its relevance if women are still made to feel like punching bags and sacrificial lambs?
Happy Women’s Day, for what it’s worth!