International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on 8 March and in South Africa we also celebrate Women’s Day on 9 August every year. South Africa comes in at eighth place on a world classification table of women in national parliament. These are all developments that deserve to be applauded as the nation is taking strides towards the ultimate goal of achieving women’s rights. However, in the same instance it is never enough until we reach the peak of equality in all spheres, when women’s dignity and rights can be fairly observed in our nation.
Currently 93.1 percent women in comparison to 95.5 percent of men are literate in the country. Where exactly are we missing out on literacy equality among sexes? Being educated equates empowerment of an individual and increases the chances of one not living in poverty. Poverty often leads to one becoming vulnerable to being abused by the party with an upper hand. This often results in an increase in domestic violence against a partner with less financial prowess in a relationship, whom in most cases given the light of the statistics are women.
Another scary fact is that 45 000 women in South Africa become rape victims every month. Of the 45 000 how many other cases are not reported and of the ones reported how many receive justice? The scars of abuse continue to cause irreversible psychological problems on the victims, unless one receives adequate help, which most of them would not know where to get help from. There still needs more work to be done to address the fights that were fought from the days of Charlotte Maxeke, Helen Joseph and many other unnamed resilient female fighters for South African women’s rights.
As Youth For Survival (YFS) we believe that the more noise we make should also be backed with solutions, which is a step we are taking in joining the world to make our mark on the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, #PledgeForParity. As an organisation one of our pillars are to protect women who are victims of abuse. The Tshwane One Stop Safe House for Women and Children is one of our premises where we provide women victims of abuse with services ranging from counselling, legal services and also provide them with a transitional home while they recover. To also ensure women are educated and empowered at an early age we also run an Anti-Teenage Pregnancy Awareness Campaign in Schools and Clinics around Tshwane. All made possible by the support we receive from our Donors and Sponsors. It is not your fight alone, or the fight for civil society alone, but everyone’s fight…
By Youth for Survival