Friday, 4 January 2013

Swaziland solves the issue of Rape?

Swazi police ban “rape – provoking” miniskirts – Al-Jazeera Article

If you’ve thought this to be slightly surreal, then you’re right!
The solution to Rape, a horrid violation of human rights has definitely NOT been achieved, particularly in Swaziland, a formerly colonized landlocked country surrounded by South Africa. Recent news has perpetuated that the government has begun taking the wrong measures to end Rape.  This awareness has heightened after allegations made on Christmas Day that the Swaziland Government has banned Miniskirts.  The law came into effect after a march by women and girls last month to protect themselves from rampant rapes in the impoverished kingdom.  Failure to abide by this law ensures the offender faces a six-month jail term.
Puzzled? You’ve definitely read it correctly, to STOP future Rape the government has issued this new law which bans females from wearing certain garments. Now that is astonishing! My hope is that you’re asking yourself “you mean to tell me that the blame is all on the female, the victim?? That the victim has provoked the Rape and even welcomes it?” Well, police officer’s spokeswomen Wendy Hleta reported that miniskirts or “half-cloth” make it easier for a rapist to Rape a woman.
Let’s stop right there-
So the reason Rape exists is because females are the ones welcoming the Rape? Not this diseased criminal who clearly has some sort of psychosis for thinking such an act and acting upon it? I think something is wrong with this statement. What’s worse is the underlying hypocrisy evident in Swaziland, as females regularly entertain the king through ritualistic dances showing their entire anatomy! In fact, females as young as five years old partake in the Umhlanga - Reed Dance, where naked they lay reeds in front of the King and Queen Mother (Reed Dance).
This is a country that faces several cases of sexually violent acts against women. In fact roughly half of females between infancy to 24 years of age have experienced some form of sexual violence (Statistics-UNICEF)  Female rights are very limited in the country; even access to land/property is controlled by males/husbands according to the 2006 constitution.  But government still has the audacity to blame females! In a country which measures a female as Labolo (bride price) in exchange for cattle, females are discriminated against and abused as children.  
I just hope that these women find some sort of solace and that we continue to be a voice for them - since their own voice is threatened with illegitimate measures such as this ban.

By: Juliet Abdeljawad

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