'Out of touch': De Lille slammed for saying women allow bad things to happen to them
GOOD party leader and public works and infrastructure minister Patricia de Lille has been slammed for being “out of touch” after saying women allow bad things to happen to them.
De Lille, who was speaking at the Women's Day launch of her party's anti-GBV campaign, said she believes most of the bad things that happen to women occur because they allow them to happen.
She said women need to start speaking up more against issues such as gender-based violence (GBV).
“Women, let me tell you one message today [Tuesday] I live by every day. I believe all the bad things that happen to us is because we allow it to happen. But from today, we are saying to you, don't shut up.”
De Lille's statement drew mixed reactions, with some saying women do not ask for bad things to happen to them. Others called her comments insensitive, and said it should have been worded differently.
Despite the backlash, De Lille stuck to her comments, saying “only you” can stop GBV.
“Preparing this speech, I realised it won’t make a difference, just as the many other speeches won’t make a difference. This is because these speeches can’t stop gender-based violence, only you can, only we can, if we don't shut up, but speak up,” said De Lille in a statement.
She also challenged men and boys to call out their close friends and relatives.
“We believe when you empower a girl you empower a community. And that is why it’s important to also highlight that you don’t need to be a woman to speak up; we need the men in our communities to join us.
“Not just the male leaders who need to be at the forefront of this fight, but every man and boy can play a role; you can make a difference by not shutting up.
“I need to highlight that this means also speaking out when you hear abusive comments or disrespectful jokes, when you receive inappropriate pictures or when you find yourself part of cat-calling 'among the boys' on the street.”
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