The National Lottery Board (NLB) has handed over cheques worth millions of rands to charity organisations across South Africa.
The donations were made at the NLB's women empowerment function as part of commemorating Women's Month in Pretoria on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the NLB has also condemned last week's incident where one of their officials was suspended on allegations of fraud to the tune of R600 000 meant for good causes.
To read the article titled, “Lotteries Board splashes out to honour women,” click here.Source:SABC News
According to Linda Musariri Chipatiso, it seems incongruous that South Africans celebrate Women's Month, yet stories of conflict and gender-based violence (GBV) flood today's headlines.
In her article titled ‘Gender Violence Still Hinders Women's Freedom’, Chipatiso argues that, “Whether it is the abduction of girls in Nigeria, the unending trial of Oscar Pistorius or the young woman raped and murdered last over the weekend because of her sexuality- the horrific immediacy of violence is all too apparent.”
She states that the majority of cases go unreported, unnoticed and justice is not served, adding that it is also evident in conflict and post-conflict situations where rape is often used as a weapon of war.
To read the article titled, “Gender Violence Still Hinders Women's Freedom,” click here.Source:All Africa
- Pioneers of yesteryear, present and future, these words are what best describe a woman in the twenty first century. While we simply call them ‘Imbokodo’, women who are capable of being home engineers, chief executive officers, the transport lady, the tutor and still find time to educate oneself, whether through an institution or the University of Life. Nonetheless, since the 9 August 1956, the word woman has upheld the notion that generations of doubters have suspected all throughout history. The strength of a woman has since existed centuries before and has never subsided, as though it is powered by solar even through hardships.
But in most recent years the outcry of the once muffled voice of your everyday woman is no longer submerged in the corridors of their thoughts or behind thatched and muddied houses or barb wired or electric fenced properties. Since the liberation of our beloved country the rights and thoughts of all have taken precedence.
But considering all facts and reports there is bound to be one area if not all where regardless of how immaculate the job is done because women are the dominant factor in that field or sport, it will not hold as much respect and recognition as the male counter parts. In a recent sit down by Youth Fit Africa, coach Greg Green of Crusaders Ladies F.C had this to say about woman in soccer, “While South Africa has the SASOL women’s league; there is no professional women’s league in the country. Green explained that the SASOL women’s teams get around R20 000 - R30 000 a year towards logistics. This poses a challenge.
He went on to further state, “The lack of resources and structure means that talent is going unnoticed and undeveloped. “Because there is no structure and support, woman’s football has not been take seriously, even though our women are finishing second and third in Africa consistently and qualified for the Olympics,” “It’s a very sexist environment, but we have persevered to get to this point,” he said. While these descriptives are still very much the norm in terms of how women are perceived within society.
Another blatant fact has evoked an outcry that reverberated in the ears of gender justice organisations, and is seldomly interrogated, given the extent of its perceived sensitivity, according to research by Sonke Gender Justice, besides injustice inflicted upon citizens of South Africa, this has escalated to migrant women entering the borders illegally which one of the researchers has stated, ln one area where there is a large number of migrants especially women, they get abused because they are vulnerable they don’t have money, no resources, so they are used as sexual objects”.
The researcher further stated, “The women are used for sex in exchange of accommodation which is critical and in exchange for food.”
Not entirely fingering local men in this, she further added, “The women are not only abused by South Africans only, even the very same migrant man who come with them and tell them that they will protect them until they reach their destination, but as long as you going to be with me and provide me with sex then I will do that.”
This deliberate brutality has evoked emotion which Sonke working with Thuthuzela Care Centres has decided to do something about. But according to the researcher, “The victims are always scared to report rape because they fear that they will be sent back to their country of destination as they are in the country illegally.”
Due to this fear they fall prey to, “Experience multiply sections of rapes, which they are also vulnerable to gang rape because they will never know what time and where they are going to be where. The ones that are more targeted are young girls,” she added. To be honest most or some of the women do not know that they have the right to access to services.
- Akhona Zibonti works for Community Media for Development.
At 12h25 on 20 August 2014, the number of rapes this month reached a staggering 45 402, according to Blow the Whistle.
Blow the Whistle director, Mike Rowley, points out that, “In August 2014, statistically there’ll be a total of 74,400 rapes,” adding that, “Even though we fight this battle every day, August is the month we’ll make our biggest stand yet.”
Blow the Whistle is an anti-rape initiative that works at empowering women and children by giving them their voices back. The initiative aims to give vulnerable women and children platforms to feel safe, by creating awareness of the crisis of rape in South Africa.
To read the article titled, “More than 45000 South African women raped so far this month: Blow the Whistle,” click here.Source:Times Live
- It may have been just a four percentage point drop in women’s representation in parliament in the May 2014 South African elections. But that drop sent tremors across a region hoping to at least show some progress on this front by 2015, the deadline year for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, signed here in 2008.
On 9 August - Women’s Day in South Africa – it is a sobering thought that we not only let ourselves down by failing to reach gender parity in one key area of decision-making: we took all of SADC down with us.
South Africa is the most populous nation in the SADC and a torch bearer for gender equality. Half the region’s MPs reside in this country. Achieving 44 percent women in parliament in the 2009 elections shot South Africa to the top of the chart in SADC and to the global top 10. The drop to 40 percent in May 2014 dealt a crippling blow to the 50/50 campaign.
With less than one year to go until 2015, no country in the 15-nation region has reached the 50 percent target of women’s representation in parliament, cabinet or local government. Over the six years, women’s overall representation in parliament hit its highest at 26 percent in 2014, increasing by two percentage points from 24 percent in 2013.
However, best predictions in the 2014 Southern African Gender Protocol Barometer are that even with five more elections by the end of 2015, this figure will at most rise to 29 percent, meaning SADC will not have achieved the original 30 percent let alone 50 percent target by 2015. Women’s representation in local government slid from 26 percent to 24 percent in the last year, and may just claw back to 28 percent by the end of 2015, but will also fall shy of both the 30 percent and 50 percent targets.
During the 2014 SADC Protocol@Work summits, the Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance held working meetings on the 50/50 campaign and came up with country-specific strategies. The strong message that emerged from these consultations is that without specific measures - quotas and electoral systems - to increase women’s political representation, change will remain painfully slow.
The 2014 Barometer reflects the global reality that women’s political representation is highest in Proportional Representation (PR) electoral systems (38 percent in parliament and 37 percent in local government) and in countries with quotas (38 percent in parliament and 37 percent in local government). Countries with First Past the Post Systems (17 percent women in national and 14 percent women in local) have the lowest level of women’s representation, as do countries with no quota (17 percent national and eight percent local).
However, SADC countries with the First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) system have shown innovation over the last few years by following the Tanzania example of adopting to a mixed system, with women able to run for the openly contested seats, and be awarded an additional 30 percent of seats on a proportional representation basis in accordance with the strength of each party.
The Zimbabwe elections in July 2013 provided a stark example of the possibilities and pitfalls of gender and election strategies. Zimbabwe witnessed an increase of 22 percentage points in women’s representation in parliament from 16 percent to 38 percent thanks to the constitutional quota that created a mixed system and guaranteed women a minimum of 22 percent of the seats in the National Assembly. However, in the absence of similar provisions for local government the proportion of women in this sphere of governance declined from 18 percent to 16 percent in the same election.
In South Africa, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) became the first political party in SADC to adopt a voluntary 50 percent quota (the South West Africa Peoples Organisation in Namibia has since followed suit). The danger of voluntary quotas, long raised by activists, is that they are linked to the electoral fortunes of political parties. This proved to be the case in the South African elections. The decline in women’s political participation in the May elections is directly attributable to the decline in the ANC’s proportion of the vote, from 66 percent in the last election to 62 percent in the 2014 elections.
Malawi had a spirited 50/50 campaign but no constitutional or legislated quotas in FPTP system. The elections took place at a turbulent time, marred by charges of foul play. As often happens in such circumstances – and despite an incumbent woman president contesting the elections - the proportion of women dropped significantly to 17 percent from 22 percent. For a moment too brief, the SADC regions marvelled and celebrated the first female President, Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi. She lost to Peter Mutharika (brother to the late former leader, Bingu Mutharika) during the May 2014 elections.
With 44 percent women in parliament, Seychelles has come closest to achieving the parity target in this area of political decision-making, while Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo (10 percent) are the lowest. Seychelles is unique in that it is the only country in the SADC region to have achieved a high level of women in parliament without a quota, and in FPTP system. The island, which has a long tradition of men leaving in search of work, has a strong matriarchal culture.
Between August 2014 and the end of 2015, five more SADC countries – Botswana (local and national); Mozambique (national), Namibia (national), Mauritius (national) and Tanzania (national and local) are due to hold elections. Madagascar’s long overdue local elections may also take place during this period. With primaries already past in Botswana, there is a danger of further backslide in the October 2014 elections. Mozambique (39 percent) and Tanzania (36 percent) already have a high representation of women in parliament. Mozambique has a proportional representation system and the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) has a voluntary quota. Tanzania has a Constitutional quota, and this is being raised from 30 percent to 50 percent. Gains are likely in both countries.
There are moves afoot in Namibia to legislate escalate the legislated quota at local level to national level, but it is not clear if this will happen in time for the October 2014 elections. Mauritius is debating a White Paper on Electoral reform that is likely to result in the quota at local level being escalated to national level but not in time for the 2015 national elections. It is therefore likely that only modest gains will be registered in both countries.
Detailed projections in the Barometer lead to the unavoidable conclusion that by the end of 2015, the region will not make even the 30 percent mark. This should however give impetus to a much more strategic approach to the 50/50 campaign, with emphasis on electoral systems and quotas, accompanied by strong advocacy campaigns, rather than simply training women for political office.
- Colleen Lowe Morna is Chief Executive Officer of Gender Links and editor-in-chief of the Southern African Gender Barometer. She formerly served as Chief Programme Officer of the Commonwealth Observer Mission to South Africa in the run up to the 1994 elections. This article is part of the Gender Links News Service special series on Women’s Month.
- The Foundation for Professional Development (FPD) Gender-Based Violence (GBV) management course proved to be a success in the community of Bayview, Durban.
The Ubuntu community workers were impressed with the amount of information that became available to help them to do their jobs better.
Bayview is a community where drug trafficking and substance abuse has caused a moral decay among many members of the area. People in this community struggle to access basic needs such as shelter, proper health care and education services, and GBV has taken over the community because people have been scared to neither talk nor report it. But lately; the women, men and children of this community have heard enough and they are been vocal about the abuse.
During the GBV Management training, FPD head of clinical and educational training, Amor Gerber realised that the community workers needed counselling because they were emotional and very heated during the speak out session. “We can’t expect the Ubuntu community workers to help and deal with other people’s issues if they have not resolved their own issues, if they are still angry and they haven’t moved on,” said Amor Gerber.
At the time of the speak out session, the Ubuntu community workers opened old wounds and shared their experiences, the following are some of their stories:
Crystal: When I was a little girl my mother was always abused by my father because he was a drug addict. I used to always want to protect my mother from being beaten but my father was too powerful. My mother was the silent type but I couldn’t be silent, I had to get out there and tell whoever would listen to me but no one believed me because I was child. My father had the society fooled to believe that he was a Good Samaritan and we were liars. My mother was a proud Indian woman who was ashamed of moving back to her family and telling them what she was going through.
“People always judge a victim for staying with an abuser, many people stay because that might be the only way keeping their children safe.” - Survivor
Sweetie: My ex-husband used to abuse me and our children, he used to lock the doors and the gates then he would start hitting us with anything he could reach. The police would come and say that they don’t get involved in domestic issues and that there is nothing they can do and they would just leave. As soon as they leave it would happen again, it was an ongoing thing and there were times where my children would hide under the tables and behind the room divider due to the violence. He used to choke us and poke us; he once cracked my head on the floor.
“Nobody knew what was going on in our house. I never screamed. I never told anybody. If the neighbours had to hear, I knew I would be pushed even more.” – Survivor
Mariam: On my wedding day a lot of people told me that; “you are going into a new life, you need to endure”, when they told me to endure, I didn’t understand what they were referring to, until the day it started happening. I had a daughter outside of my marriage and unfortunately in this marriage I couldn’t conceive so I was being raped but I was not aware of it. I told myself that it was ordinary because we needed a child. I don’t worry about myself anymore, I worry about my children.
Gayle: When I was 3 years old I was raped. He grabbed me and threw me on the bed. I was asthmatic and he stuffed a sock into my mouth and covered my face with a pillow. I was kicking and screaming to catch my breath but he lifted up my dress and he started raping me and I ended up in children’s hospital.
“At times he was a very caring husband. And then without a reason, he would go into one of his moods. The things that I did right one day would trigger verbal and physical abuse the next day.” - Survivor
Silence, obedience and misconceptions have destroyed our society; it is time that we all break the silence on violence that is happening in our homes and communities; and build a safer environment for the next generation.
- Foundation for Professional Development.
Malawi's first lady, Gertrude Hendrina Mutharika, urges women in diaspora to assist in the education of a girl child back home in order to make them responsible citizens.
Mutharika believes girls in Malawi drop out of school due to several challenges such as lack of support, long distances to school and early marriages.
She further adds that, "Government has introduced a number of initiatives with the assistance of our development partners to make sure that girls do stay in school and also complete their education.”
To read the article titled, “Madame Mutharika urges women in the diaspora to help girl child education,” click here.Source:All Africa
Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela states that it is time for women to claim their place at the main table where Africa’s fate is being decided, where decisions on distribution of resources are being made, and Africa’s contribution to the fate of the world as a whole is being determined.
Speaking at the Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government awards, Madonsela warned that shying away women would be dishonouring the women who came before them and failing to provide an example to the girl child.
She praises women across the continent as being pioneers, effective leaders and examples to young girls, and showing that it was possible and within their reach.
To read the article titled, “Women must claim their place - Madonsela,” click here.Source:The Citizen
Thirty students - 13 of them women - will fly to India today to study pharmacy and ultrasonography but not before 11 young women were implanted with Implanon, a matchstick-size rod inserted in the arm to prevent one from falling pregnant.
One student was advised against taking the contraceptive due to an existing medical condition. Another said she ‘was not ready for it’.
Meanwhile, Research associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, Lisa Vetten, says though the department is to be commended for making such opportunities available, this did not entitle it to make decisions on behalf of the young women.
To read the article titled, “Uproar over state's 'forced birth control',” click here.Source:Times Live
One women is raped in South Africa every 26 seconds. This alarming statistics and attacks on women seems to be increasingly brutal and fatal, and now a local non-government organisation (NGO) is taking action against these heinous crime.
Men Against Rape (MAR) are to host a fundraising concert to mark men's month at the Tongaat Town Hall in KwaZulu-Natal this weekend, and all proceeds will go towards the organisation in its pursuit to provide support to victims of rape.
MAR chairperson, Kamal Timmal, says: "We are trying to create an awareness in companies and in school on how men should treat women, and how men should respect women, I mean the perpetrators are men.”
To read the article titled, “KZN NGO on drive to provide support to rape victims,” click here.Source:SABC News