Women are more than a #

Protesters during the #AmINext silent protest at the Cape Town International Convention Center on 04 September 2019. Picture: Twitter.

Teach the men – and chastise, arrest and punish the men who continue to hunt us as their prey.

Women are butchered at an alarming rate – and all we can do is hashtag, share, retweet and react.

Men and leaders can only but voice their condemnation as families continue to bury their daughters, mothers and sisters…

As a demographic group, we have a right to exist, to not live in constant fear.

We have a right to walk around without a target on our backs.

Who gave men the right to tamper with that?

More alarming is the expectation for women to speak out as a means to end the bloodbath… to convince disinterested police our tears are genuine and that the core of our souls are tainted. We must jump through the fires of the justice system, to eventually be denied justice when our perpetrators walk the same streets three or four years later.

Teach the men – and chastise, arrest and punish the men who continue to hunt us as their prey.

This is not a problem of our doing. We are merely the survivors of their sick, perverted and out of control urges.

We are dying because this very society where I wish to raise a man of character, is nothing but a haven for men who go unpunished, undeterred.

The justice system, you say? Abusers are given such lenient sentences that they are released even before the ink used for their judgments dry up.

Their family members defend their “falsely accused” family member – because the men are presumed innocent in the court of public opinion simply because by virtue of biology.

The solution to this bloodbath lies not with the women. We can mobilise as much as we can, but it is not us that need to change, but these men.

They hold cultural stereotypes above basic human compassion; they believe that mahadi/dowries buy them a human being; they believe being the breadwinner makes them superior.

These are the men whom we need to fix. And the men who are quick to scream #notallmen must hold their brothers, peers and colleagues accountable for our demise.

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo.

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