Women and children still in the chains of patriarchal abuse
The Times Editorial: It is deeply ironic that, as a bill dealing with the empowerment of women wends its way through our legislative process, crime statistics reflect the abysmal treatment of women in South Africa.
IT IS deeply ironic that, as a bill dealing with the empowerment of women wends its way through our legislative process, crime statistics reflect the abysmal treatment of women in South Africa.
Lulu Xingwana's Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities is in the process of enacting the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill.
It speaks to the lack of transformation in post-apartheid South Africa and the need for legislation to force redress in the workplace.
But it is not only organisational transformation that requires attention. The private and personal spaces of women and children are violated constantly.
As Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said yesterday when the crime numbers were released: "One area that still remains stubbornly high is around sexual offences."
Mthethwa said while rape has decreased by 1.9%, it remained unacceptably high.
"We need to emphasise that as government we are, however, still concerned about the scourge of rape in our country . More resources and better training of police mechanisms are now being put in place."
Mthethwa said rape was a "challenging category" for the police.
Whether victims reported the crime and trusted police officers was involved.
The statistics bear out the lack of trust. Last month, parliament heard that only 12 of 162 police stations were found to be compliant with the Domestic Violence Act - 14 years after its implementation.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate received 104 complaints against officers between January and March last year.
Mthethwa and his senior officers might wish to reassure us that they take seriously the violent state in which women are expected to live. Unfortunately, as with Xingwana, it is far easier to have great intentions than it is to ensure those translate into reality.