Every year, in August, our country marks Women’s Month. We also pay tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. A system meant to control women even further and reduce women to passive beings, at the mercy of men.
Reflecting on the year 2022 it is with great sadness that the victory over pass laws is being overshadowed by Gender Based Violence which has reached pandemic proportions. The country’s President acknowledged that the violence perpetrated against women in South Africa is comparable to countries that are at war.
Despite the advances made by the country on women’s rights, women in South Africa face an onslaught of an oppressor with a different face; patriarchy and violence which is meted out in our homes, in our streets, in our communities, and eventually spills over into our schools.
According to the World Population Review:
• South Africa is the most
dangerous country in the world
for solo female travelers.
• Only 25% of South African women feel safe walking alone at night, the lowest of any
• South Africa is notorious for
• It is estimated that over 40% of
South African women will be
raped in their lifetime.
• South Africa was ranked the
worst for the homicide of women.
We need to do better!
Our women deserve to feel safe, loved and protected.
How are they expected to take
up their rightful place in society if they are living in constant fear?
Gender Based Violence is a societal ill.
It is everyone in society’s responsibility to eradicate it.
Women and girls are the backbone of recovery in our communities, therefore putting them at the center of our economies will fundamentally drive better and more sustainable development outcomes for us all.
NAPTOSA is focused on achieving the ambitious targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5. This is clear in our recently-adopted Gender Policy, that ensures women’s full and active participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making within the union.
NAPTOSA calls on the entire country to make schools safe sanctuaries, free from SRGBV, where ALL children can develop holistically without the pressure to conform. By engaging boys in developing gender awareness, an alternative vision of masculinity can help bring gender justice.
NAPTOSA wishes all women in the education sector and South Africa as a whole, a Happy Women’s Month! Womandla!!!
Mr B.L Manuel Executive Director