I admire the people who came up with this concept. Who can forget why 16 Days of Activism was conceived? A spate of “Baby Rapes” in every part of South Africa was driving people to despair. Who was raping these babies? Men who look for easy prey. After all how attractive can a man find a baby in a nappy? No – it’s easy prey. Little girls who cannot fight back also become victims. Society failed these children, but we fail to blame the parents?
Mothers who were not there to protect their children. Most of these kids were not raped while parents were at work but rather out drinking. So before this Sixteen days come to an end we should reflect on whether or not it is working.
It is not working because now we have a new spate of rapes. Raping grannies is the new sport amongst young men. Grannies that cannot fight off their rapists. More easy prey. Then there are girls that wear short dresses… Men think its ok to rape women that are scantily clad – nothing to do with fashion. To them such women are asking to be raped! This happens every day – South Africa is known as the Rape Capital of the world. And our men are working hard at keeping that honourable title.
So back to the question – is 16 Days of Activism helping women and children? No – I am afraid not. So what can we do?
This sort of Activism should be taken to the people. Respect for women and children should be part of our lives. Create a new topic in schools. Make it part of school curriculum. Create awareness in all walks of life. Drill it into young men that they will be respected if they respect young girls. Traditional leaders should be more vocal – teach men to accept women as equals – tribal laws degrade and demean women. Political rallies should also be used to make men aware of how degrading it is – to be raped AND to be a rapist! Churches should make it part of their rituals, add sermons that renounce violence against women and children. Be active 365 days – not 16!
And our Leaders, what are they doing? How much time are they spending to get rid of this scourge on our nation? Nothing it seems. We only get the odd speech on podiums that serve their political agendas. They should look at “Granny Creches” in rural areas where old women are being attacked. They should look at the statute books and make new laws in place of old archaic laws that protects criminals. They should be seen to lead by example. I personally think they read their own statistics!
And to the men who help in the fight against this very real threat to our society? I commend you. I respect you. If there were more of you there would be one less rapist in our midst......