Opinion|Stop insulting women with this month-long farce

26 July 2018 - 09:37
By Thembalethu Zulu
Image: 123RF/Robeo

Next week marks the start of that performative act of niceness known as Women's Month. For 31 days, the country will bloom into a joyous sea of pink, chocolates and all things nice as we pretend to care and protect society's (wall) flowers, women.

In case my acerbic tone has not sufficiently painted a picture of my distaste for the commemorative month, let me spell it out for you: Women's Month sucks and is an insult.

To suggest that a month is sufficient to highlight, and in some way placate some of the ills the world has and continues to visit on women, is ridiculous.

For 365 days of the year, women continue to be victimised, paid less, maimed and killed by those they trust.

To give you a sense of why dedicating only a month (which culminates in a day, August 9) of celebrations, is pejorative, let me take you through a slither of what a real month in a woman's life means.

Fear: According to Statistics SA, women were the greater percentage of victims of theft of personal property and fraud, also making up 68.5% of the sexual offences victims.

Death: According to the same report, the murder rate of women increased by 117% between 2015 and 2016/17.

Victimisation: Only 44 in every 100 employed individuals are women, according to labour data released for the second quarter of 2017, occupying a mere 44% of skilled posts, which includes managers. Shockingly, this figure has remained the same since 2002.

While a very simplistic view of some of the issues facing women, this highlights how the fight to respect and recognise women for their contribution in society remains largely marginalised.

In the movie Chicago, fittingly about women who have had enough from their partners and are imprisoned for offing them, there is a song called Razzle Dazzle, which speaks to bamboozling people into thinking you're doing something while you actually do nothing. The lyrics read: "Give 'em an act with lots of flash in it, and the reaction will be passionate.

"How can they see with sequins in their eyes? ... Razzle dazzle 'em, and they'll never catch wise!"

Actually, nope; time really is up. Stop trying to razzle dazzle us with a month-long "celebration" and actually start doing things that matter.