S. Africa celebrates Women's Day amid calling for women protection
JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- South Africa celebrated the national Women's Day on Thursday amid growing calling of protecting women from violence.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa told women attending the national Women's Day event in Mbekweni, Paarl, that South Africa should build a society where the "daughters of our nation" will be able to live in peace, dignity and security, and said the scourge of violence against women, and their exploitation, should end.
"Women should feel protected whether they are in the streets, on village pathways, at university, at work," said the president.
Siyabulela Jentile, founder of "Not in my Name", an equity organization, challenged men to take responsibility for their actions.
"We need to take collective responsibility in saying that we have never raped or killed but for a mere fact that we are men we need to take responsibility and do something about it," Jentile said, adding men must also be at the forefront to tackle gender-based issues than watching and folding their hands.
"There is nothing to celebrate this Women's Day we take into consideration the growing number of women that are being killed in South Africa," gender activist, Gaopalelwe, told Xinhua on Thursday.
Gaopalelwe cited an example of the death of a Rhodes University student, Kenan Maseko, who committed suicide after she claimed that her boyfriend raped her at the university premises.
Maseko was laid to rest on Women's Day.
Phalaetsile said at least a woman is killed in South Africa every four hours. "The law is not protecting women in South Africa, especially poor and black women," she believed.
According to Phalaetsile, Women's Day should be used to reflect on the kind of violence experienced by women in South Africa.
"Women should be treated with dignity throughout the year not only in the month of August," said Phalaetsile.
Women from all walks of life in South Africa marched against gender violence and child abuse in Pretoria last week. They handed over a memorandum with a list of demands to President Ramaphosa.
"You have the right to enjoy your bodies? the right to live a life that is happy," Ramaphosa told the protestors.