It took me a while to post about Femicide because when the topic initially came into my mind, I was filled with rage and nothing I had to say about it then was rational. Femicide – the killing of women by men on account of gender.
I don’t think the question “why do men kill women” will ever have a plain, cut out or direct answer. Inferiority complex is the first reason that comes to mind for me. A pure hatred for rejection is another speculation, but whatever the case may be, this trend is feeding into this generation’s phrase “men are trash”. The thing that makes men trashy even when they are not abusing women, is being bystanders and spectators. We can educate the women as much as we want but no change will take place if men still maintain their mindset. When men don’t take action against their own friends, brothers, uncles or colleagues who are abusing women, in our eyes as female it simply means you condone this behaviour and therefore we put you in the same bracket.
What is the role of men in a traditional setting in society? One of the many answers is to protect women and children. 38% of women killed in South Africa are killed by a spouse or partner, meaning almost half the population of men have failed in the area of protection. Its not a secret that we are physically weaker then men but is that reason to prey on us? After the death of Karabo Mokoena, someone very close to me, a male said she was involved with the wrong crowd so it was a long time coming. After the death of Zolile Khumalo another male friend said “well she shouldn’t have been messing around with a guy who played with guns”. Another common comment is “she loved money too much”.
I have no words for such justification for murder. The death penalty for serial killers has been lifted in most countries and yet men are finding it acceptable to kill females because of what they perceive as greed and irresponsible behaviour? This leads me back to the mindset of men. Whether it’s the abusers or the on lookers, women are not objects or assets that are beneath you. Regardless of how much time, effort or money you use on us, we shall and never will belong to you because we are not possessions.
There’s also a huge misconception about the options available to women who find themselves in abusive relationships. Please refer to my previous posts on this topic. https://myworthsite.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/abuse-why-women-stay-in-abusive-relationships/. The bottom line is leaving an abusive relationship isn’t easy, most people are misguided thinking it’s as simple as just walking away. Same challenges with alcoholism and any other addictions. I’m now finding that leaving is as dangerous as staying if leaving = getting killed. So what options do we have left as women? You stay and you are abused to death and you leave, and you still die at the hands of a man whose ego and fear of rejection makes him feel entitled to your life. This is clearly a prevalent challenge in South Africa and the law needs to be amended to protect such women.
With our current disturbing statistics about women and girls being killed in South Africa where South Africa’s femicide is five times higher than the global average, what is our government doing? This data shows that violence amongst partners continues to rise despite strategies implemented by the government and activists in raising awareness about the issue. The statistics indicate that a time for a national debate on this phenomenon has come. A national conversation is a trigger towards finding a solution that citizens can commit to stop violence against women and girls.
I believe we need to first address the root factor which is of “human rights”. Once our society grasps this concept then gender rights will not be a problem to understand. Women, like men, need to be respected and allowed to live their lives the way they choose to live. There are no laws that allow men’s use of power over women. A patriarchal gender order in any country reverses the gains of the hard-won democracy. Developing an understanding of contributing factors is crucial in developing strategies to mitigate against intimate partner femicide.