Scary stories from a lovely place

International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. I’m not certain what the point of the day is. I’ve been trying to open the official website for the movement but it’s not working. I guess it’s to highlight the importance of women’s rights, equality with men in the spheres of politics and business and work for a reduction in maltreatment of women.

In most developed, capitalist parts of the world women can vote, seek employment, arrange their own divorce, use contraception and go to school. But that’s not the case everywhere. I’m not even sure if these are the best things for women.

I would just like to see an end or at least a reduction in the treatment of women as capital, possession or sex object. I’m reading a book about globalisation at the moment called ‘Falling off the Edge’. This morning I was reading about human trafficking and the amount of women who are used in the sex industry around the world. Throughout history rape has been used as a weapon of war, and this continues today. Reading about instances of rape in parts of Central Africa during warfare is horrific.

Incidences of rape are really high in South Africa. Everyday, literally, everyday when I look at News24 there is a story that involves rape in some way. Mother raped in front of children. Policeman rapes woman. Attempted rape at university. These are three stories that I have read in the last couple of weeks. Often I don’t read them because I get too angry. I wish that women’s bodies didn’t have to be used as a form of violence and subjugation.

More needs to be done to change this devastating reality. Governments and businesses and armies and religious groups and men need to deem this an unacceptable way of treating women. Otherwise nothing will change.

To conclude on a lighter note, I read a wonderful story on News24 this morning of an attempted murder and rape on a beach in Kwazulu-Natal. Wonderful? Well, a husband and his wife were walking their dogs and were approached by a man seeking food, money or employment. I don’t think the husband and wife handled the situation very well, but what ended up happening was the man was struck in the head and stabbed and the woman bashed. The attacker tried to take her to some bushes and threatened to rape her. The woman flipped out. She told him that she was “a white witch from England and you are doomed.” The attacker left and the woman went and got help for her husband.

I love that, even though she took a beating, she got the better of him psychologically. I wonder if the attacker had seen ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ and was scared of the prospect of eating cursed turkish delight? Or maybe he just didn’t like people from England.

For another, proper, article on International Women’s Day read this story about the difficulties faced by women seeking working as traders in different parts of Africa.


2 comments on “International Women’s Day

  1. Jenny
    March 8, 2011

    I’d like to hear more about why you’re not sure that women voting, seeking employment etc (paragraph 2) are not the best thing for women?

  2. kimlovesjozi
    March 8, 2011

    The opportunity to vote and work are good things for women to have access to. And I think these two rights in particular should be worked for. But I’m conscious of feminist rhetoric seeking equal access for women from all different cultures for things like contraception, employment etc if it’s not necessarily what those women want. (It’s the old women telling women not to wear burqas when maybe they want to problem.) I guess feminism has been working hard for a long time and a lot of women now have the things I mentioned in para 2, but look at all the problems that still exist for women. Maybe the solutions feminism brokered aren’t as wonderful as we think.

    I also didn’t want to write too long a post and so didn’t deal with all these different things in detail.

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This entry was posted on March 8, 2011 by in Beefs, Life in South Africa, News and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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