'Boys need to be educated about rape'

2016-11-25 17:57
Zubeida Jaffer (Netwerk24)

Zubeida Jaffer (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - The nation has neglected to teach its boys about the prevailing rape culture and their roles in society, anti-apartheid journalist Zubeida Jaffer said on Friday.

It was crucial that boys be re-educated on how they should relate to their sisters, mothers, girlfriends and partners, she said at the SA Institute for Advancement in Cape Town.

"We are seeing all this violence and anger because we have neglected our boy child."

Their traditional roles had been taken away from them and they had been left disorientated and without balance.

"The question then is, how do we uphold and advance the rights of our women and still help to define the role of the boy child?"

Jaffer quoted from a speech South Africa’s first black female graduate, Charlotte Maxeke, gave in 1920.

"We want men to protect the women of our nation; not men who hurt and condemn women when they become aware of their rights," Jaffer said, quoting Maxeke.

"We need men who will humble themselves so the nation will lift them up to be stars of Africa for future generations. That is what Africa wants. That is what the women of Africa weep for."

President Jacob Zuma on Friday announced the start of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign in Limpopo.

Anger, arrogance

The breakfast in Cape Town was held to remember Zuma's rape accuser Fezekile "Khwezi" Kuzwayo, who died on October 8, and the 60th anniversary of the Women’s March to the Union Buildings.

Wits master’s student Simamkele Dlakavu also spoke at Friday’s event. She was one of four women who held a silent protest during Zuma’s speech at the IEC results centre in August, to remember Kuzwayo.

She said young, black, born-free women were angrier and more militant against rape because the pleas of past generations had not been heard.

"We are angry about it, because we don’t want it to continue," she said.

"And our anger can sometimes be interpreted as arrogance. But we making it work for us, because we don’t want the pain suffered by our mothers to continue for us."

She said social media was being used as a tool to mobilise young women into exposing sexist and misogynist attitudes.

"Does emphasising the girl child mean we are negating the boy child?" she asked rhetorically.

"I'm interested in the girl child right now."

'If a woman can bring a man into the world...'

Sandra Dreyer, of the Cape Town Society for the Blind, said women with disabilities were triple-affected by prejudice, and should not be forgotten in the debate for equal treatment.

Another speaker said they should not forget other forms of abuse, beyond rape.

She said she would like the institute to hold another dialogue on physical abuse, especially at primary schools, between boys and girls.

A third woman said she had taken part in a protest at the University of Cape Town, outside the Bremner Building, in 1989. She felt encouraged that a new generation of young, black women were emulating them.

A young man said women should "correct men’s thinking". He said if women brought men into the world, they had to guide them when it came to such issues.

The last speaker said solidarity and co-operation had united the country 20 years ago. It was time to rediscover this in the fight for equal rights for women, she said.


Read more on:    fezekile kuzwayo  |  rape

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