Femicide – Why men kill women

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.

 

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6 Replies to “Femicide – Why men kill women”

  1. I feel sad about men killing women, I mean where is the respect for womanhood and motherhood, it’s really terrible the kind of wickedness that trends in this world. God help us.

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  2. Very well written. I was having a discussion about human rights with another fellow blogger, and always the problem is that even when one says they are for human rights, when a group is dehumanized, it’s easy to justify continued injustices and violations against that group.

    My dad, who is from India, would say that people in his city are very chivalrous when it comes to protecting women in public. However, this clearly does not extend to the home when it is their own wife. And of course rape is prevalent in India. I remember wondering how a society could value protecting women culturally, but at the same time have a lot of violence towards women. It took me awhile to answer that question. Protection is just not the same as acknowledging one’s humanity. Because we might also protect other possession, our land, our property. And that of course is the problem. I don’t believe you can truly protect a person or people without truly acknowledging their humanity. As much as property loss can be painful, in the end we are willing to absorb that loss in favor of having our life. I think the same is true when it comes to societies who seem to have a lot of chivalry towards women. A choice to protect what one sees as an object is weighed against other considerations like social status, danger to one’s self, upsetting the status quo, and men too often back away.

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    1. You are quiet right Swarn. The concept of humanity hasnt been grasped fully. Women are still objectified. Men brag about having either money, cars or women….we are put in the same bracket as assets so until that mindset shifts, we are almost fighting a losing battle

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      1. I do think there is a lot of progress to be proud of. The fight by women has improved the lives of countless women, so it’s definitely not for nothing, and I do believe it will continue to get better at least in the longer arc of history, even if in the moment it feels like things are regressing. I think one of the most important things we can continue to support is education for women. It’s the most important way in which women can be empowered and it does make a difference.

        I certainly cannot know the struggle of women like you and others, but I’m glad for women like you are fighting and talking about important issues.

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  3. I believe people do things because they can, especially when they remain unchecked. The #Metoo movement has helped give voice to atrocities; however much more needs to be done the world over. India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, China, Jamaica, and America; all joined to say stop this crap or else. But what will be our or else?

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    1. Hi Liz. That’s a great question, what is our or else? I believe if all women came together and agreed on a movement of some sort, we can easily get our “or else”. We ourselves are divided because a great number of women haven’t acknowledged their worth and believe that they deserve abuse…abuse is their norm. It sounds bleak but one small act towards change will always help.

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