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Up to men to end patriarchy

03 May 2016 - 09:28 By Sandile Ntuli, Johannesburg

Julius Malema's recent comments - including, but not limited to, threats to topple the government "through the barrel of a gun" should it not respond to peaceful protests - will overshadow his recent academic achievements. Malema saying that black people should make babies is an insult, particularly to women. Are women merely baby-making machines in his view?Malema's comments will further polarise South Africans, sabotaging his Economic Freedom Fighters party's efforts to win the lion's share of votes come August 3.Malema's remarks, coupled with the anti-rape protests at Rhodes University in Eastern Cape, show that we still live in an unequal society that makes it acceptable for men to control what happens to women and their bodies.Women still have to pay period tax - that is, they have to buy sanitary pads.If women are compelled to buy sanitary pads, why should condoms be freely available for men? Why are female condoms scarce?It makes a lot of sense to provide sanitary pads free to all women and girls.Our patriarchal society continues to allow us men to decide what happens to women's bodies.Instead of trash-talking to each other in parliament our democratically elected male leaders in particular should challenge this reality...

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