Women’s rights are the fundamental human rights that were enshrined by the United Nations for every human being on the planet nearly 70 years ago. These rights include the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn a fair and equal wage.
Social media has changed the way in which we view and experience the news. Violence, abuse, rape and murder of women has escalated over the last decade and social media has propelled it into the light. There is not a person in this country that is not exposed to it – either through personal experience or via one or another social platform. The proliferation and constant horror of violence, rape and murder has overtaken just about every aspect of every South African women’s life.
At some stage there has to be that tipping point – that came a short while ago when a young woman went to the Post Office to collect a parcel. A normal everyday action. Something we have never thought about as we assume that we would be safe………….not so. She was lured back into the Post Office under the premise of kindness and helpfulness, yet behind his seemly kind gestures lay a horrendous predator. She returned to the office later as earlier she was told that the systems were offline but would be back on just after working hours and he would assist her. She was violently violated and murdered and then her body was dumped.
Girls and Women have had enough and a national uprising has taken place. No longer will we be silent. We want the right to be free, protected, free of violence, slavery and discrimination. As millions of women marched around the country the young women of our school stood in protest – along with many of our young men – men who respect women and who treat them with respect – sons and brothers. Collectively the pupils at our school have said “enough is enough”. This was not just a single day of uprising and standing in solidarity. This is a movement nationally and within our school to keep this up 365 days a year – every year.
We had the leaders of this movement within our school and they openly shared their feelings and what we will fight for collectively – respect, dignity, protection. non violence, unity and working together as ONE to protect all citizens of this country.
Thank you to Simply Stitches for sponsoring elastic for armbands used during (and after) the silent protest.