As the political campaigns gain traction, one cannot help but encounter posters on lampposts across the country. Almost every street, every major thoroughfare, and I dare say even roads leading to nowhere, the imposing images of presidential wannabes confront our sights, our views and indeed our anxieties.
Yet in all this public display seeking our support there are a number of issues that are conspicuous by their absence. I found myself dumbfounded by this realisation and have to speak to two of these issues that are important but not on display in these public spaces nor are they part of the discourse we have been offered by those who are seeking to be entrusted with the authority of the state.
Driving in and around Johannesburg one gets to see the faces of the various political parties. Without any exception the faces of the political parties on these posters, on this important election are all males – not a single woman is the face of any political party. This is telling for a country which prides itself in gender representation and whose constitution talks about an inclusive political order. Seems like our reality is stating other wise.
Second the messages are varied but there is not a single message on this route related to the scourge of gender-based violence that has marred our social landscape. Politicians have postured about the need to fight gender-based violence but not one of them, who is the face of a party, has said we should vote for them because they will fight gender-based violence.
Clearly the message to us all women is that we are on our own.