The safety of women is at a crisis and it is up to the men in our country to change the current state. After the brutal rape and murder of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana, it has sparked outrage and the feeling of unsafety amongst our women.
Students from our school took to Imam Haron Road for two mornings during peak traffic and protested to voice their concerns against the femicide and Gender-Based Violence in our country, which is 5 times higher than the global average. It is up to the men to take responsibility and unlearn misogynistic behavior and mindsets to make safe spaces for our women. As “no means no” and “Am I Next?” was chanted in the road, it leaves chills to think that our own young women have to be vigilant for the cruel intentions people have to do to women and children daily. It is up to those who teach and raise boys to put an end to “locker room talk” and “jokes” which inherently perpetuates a problematic culture. It is not solely up to women and girls to learn self-defense, carry pepper spray, send their location of where they are to a relative or friend. Those things have unfortunately become a necessity for girls and women but it is not enough.
Together we can make a better, safer country for our youth and our women, but it starts with uncomfortable conversations and a shift in mindsets.