Don't Look Away: Men killed these women and children
South African women experience violence
on a horrific scale and our country
shamefully ranks as having amongst the
most abusive men in the world.
assault, rape and murder women daily,
leaving women to live in fear at home,
at work, at school and in public spaces.
The vicious cycle of toxic masculinity must
be addressed at the source.
This is why
Independent Media’s award-winning Don’t
Look Away campaign, in support of the
global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender
Based Violence, will this year challenge
men, young and old, to break the cycle
of violence, to end toxic masculinity and
to never look away from gender-based
violence. Join us in our campaign using the
slogan #talk2yourboys to make SA safer.
The agonising question is what is it that drives South African men to commit such
horror on women and girls purely on the grounds of their gender?
Hourly, daily, weekly, women are harassed, molested, beaten, stabbed, shot,
suffocated, tortured, raped, and bludgeoned to death.
The horror they suffer
until their lives are prematurely ended is shocking, the terror unspeakable.
will recognise some of these women and children from reports we carried at the time they went missing and were murdered. You will also notice
blank profiles on this wall of remembrance.
Don’t be fooled by the facelessness
of statistics. Behind the façade of that blank profile there is a real woman, a real
child, who was dearly loved by her family but who was brutalised and slaughtered
by an equally faceless toxic male who mercilessly preyed on her.
Shockingly there are a great many instances of toxic masculinity, of gender-based
violence that never make it into the news, and scores more where the cries and
screams of the victims go unheard and the full extent of this national crisis remains
But the pain does not end with the death of a femicide victim. It crushes both
survivors, and grieving families who hold on to the only thing they have left – their
memories and their photos.
But even in this deep agony there is the pain of a parent
or family who does not even have a photo because they were simply too poor. There
can be no question that gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa has
reached pandemic proportions.
It is no longer enough just to #WeRemember. It is
imperative that we reflect deeply on this crisis and engage in decisive interventions,
Role models who shape our youth, from parents and teachers to social
influencers and leaders, all need to make themselves acutely aware of how trauma,
language and stereotyping contribute to men growing up using violence as their
It is time to #talk2yourboys and raise them to be better men who have greater
empathy, tolerance and understanding of gender equality and respect.
As much as men are the perpetrators of GBV, they too need to be part of the solution
by standing up, speaking out, and raising the bar of what it means to be a man.
INVOLVED! Share your
thoughts on toxic
masculinity and how
it affects our society via Whatsapp on 074 557 3535. Remember to add