The nation of South Africa has a life threatening epidemic of femicides. Women are becoming an endangered species on a daily basis.
Every four hours a woman is killed and at least half of these women die at the hands of their intimate partners. More alarming, the South African femicide rate is five times more than the global rate.
These statistics are a clear reflection that women’s bodies are treated as disposable goods. Combining the height of femicide figures with the country’s despicable women abuse and rape culture indicates that we have a severe crisis.
Despite the provision of a justice system that guarantees human rights laws that protect women from domestic violence and sexual offences act, we still bear the scars and wounds of violence.
Our country’s social fabric is subjugated and deeply rooted with patriarchal attitudes towards the role of women, which makes violence against women an accepted occurrence. There is a general consensus amongst males condoning this behaviour.
Their logic is endorsed by victim-blaming women for being recipients of violence with the validation that women put themselves in compromising positions.
The most prevalent motives behind femicides are often about women being “gold diggers” or “slay queens” for financial gains, adultery or love triangle squabbles, custody or residential battle for children. There is little or no accountability for male weakness, entitlement and insecurities.
There are obviously more complex dynamics to understanding gender-based violence in South Africa. Blatant and subtle institutionalised and social misogyny is a contributing factor.