One could write a book about the challenges that women still face in this day and age. Sometimes l ask myself, will things ever truly change? Is true equality something women will only dream about and hope for? Why is it ok for women to suffer the way they do?
I trust you will read this post with a mature mind because the intention of this write up is not to make men the enemy. Its simply so we don’t shy away from engaging in serious issues that affect us as a people. Below is a tiny fraction of what affects the 21st century woman:
Staying relevant in the workplace
Although women are significantly doing well; running business, starting their own companies and holding senior roles in the organizations they work for, they still have to work triple as hard to prove their value; just like they did decades ago. This is neither because women understand less nor perform less, its simply because society that has made it so, they have allowed for women to feel and seem like they are out of place in the workplace, falsely convincing themselves that a woman’s place is barefoot in the kitchen and definitely not in the boardroom. The truth is that women are smart hard-workers who can effectively contribute to anything they commit to.
In August there was a nationwide if not worldwide outcry when the CEO of the South African Institute of Civil engineering Manglin Pillay questioned if in quote “we should be investing so heavily in attracting women to STEM (Science, Technology, Maths & Engineering). Read more
Gender pay gap
The fact that this still happens is as shocking as it is disgusting. Holding the same position, with the same responsibilities and achieving the same targets only to find that the male counterpart earns significantly more than you can be very demoralising and frustrating. In recent headlining news, Carrie Gracie a journalist hired by the BCC as the China editor for BBC news resigned at the end of December 2017 early January 2018, citing what she called pay discrimination over gender for BBC international editors. She has since returned to her former post in the BBC news room. Read more
Stalking and harassment
Stalking is a form of abuse and the numbers are rapidly growing due to technology which perpetrators use as a tool to accelerate, easily track, follow, and stalk their victims. Anyone can be a victim, the vast majority of victims are ordinary people from all walks of life. The scary and dangerous thing about stalking is that it can start off as a simple text, phone call or complement and can soon turn into sour, evident violent behaviour.
Many women have lost their lives in the hands of their stalkers. Victims also feel that reporting the matter to the police doesn’t do much good, if anything it compound’s the stalkers behaviour. These stalkers behave in a manner that suggest they want to punish the victim more and prove that they can do to them what they want, when they want, by increasing the calls, text and whatever form of contact they choose… shocking right?
If you are being stalked don’t keep silent, tell family, colleagues, friends, and report to the authorities to make sure that people that care about you or those that can help you know about the problem. This will also help your loved ones to ensure they keep details of your where-about private.
Different types/categories of stalkers include:
- The intimacy seeker – this is a stalker that has NOT had a relationship with the victim nor met them, they imagine an idealized relationship with the stalker and often go out of their way to prove this sick love to their victims. Majority of celebrity stalkers fit into this category.
- The resentful – the main purpose of this stalker is to terrorize, scare and stress their victims. These stalkers aim to destroy their victim’s lives due to some wrong they believe was done to them whether real or not. They are absolutely dangerous as they have no remorse or conscience. Discontented employees fit into this category of stalkers.
- The incompetent – these stalkers are commonly intellectually limited and with poor social skills. They lack and desire intimacy with women. Unlike the intimacy seeker stalker, the incompetent stalker isn’t infatuated with their victims, they are simply attracted to them.
- The predatory – this stalker stalks simply for pleasure. They enjoy the game as it gives them power and control over their victims.
Today, South Africa is reported to have one of the highest rates of femicide, rape, assault and violence against women in the world. This is a seriously troubling concern. All of us, every single soul in this country has an obligation to ensure that crimes against women and children are not tolerated, these crimes are reported, victims get all the support they need to recover and continue with their lives.
Men are meant to be providers, protectors and caretakers. What is a woman to do when the same man that is meant to protect her turns around to be the one who tortures her, humiliates her, abuses her and ultimately kills her? Who must a woman turn to when her partner treats her like a war opponent? It is beyond scary that many of these men turn the homes they share with their wives/girlfriends into battle fields where blood must flow and a life must be lost by all means necessary.
Many of us know a loved one, a neighbor or an acquaintance that has been abused; severely abused by their partner and even a male relative.The truth is that these wounds cut deep and take forever to heal if at all they heal.
The question still remains: what makes these men turn into wild, uncontrollable beasts? Yes l say beast because no sane human would hear the cries of another and still continue hurting them.
Women are still being trafficked in their countries and across international borders for the purposes of forced labour, sex slavery etc. Many women are lured with promises of legitimate jobs, marriage prospects, educational opportunities and a better life, while others are sold by their boyfriends, parents and neighbours for money. Victims are usually passed among multiple traffickers, moving them further away from their home countries before they reach their final destination where they will sadly be used as objects. The victim’s travelling documents are typically confiscated from them, making it extremely difficult for them to escape.
Human trafficking victims experience unimaginable forms of degradation, physical and psychological torture including being deprived of food and basic sanitary care. Many of the victims that escaped reported that in order for their captors to fully control them, they are told that if try to escape or alert anyone of their circumstances their children and family back home will be killed. Another added layer of psychological stress and frustration is due to the inability to understand the culture and language of the country that they have been trafficked to.
These women are not treated with respect as mentioned above. For example, usually before “servicing” clients they are raped by the traffickers, initiating the painful cycle of exploitation and humiliation. Many are drugged to prevent them from escaping, servicing huge numbers of men in a day, further exposing them to sexually transmitted diseases.
In societies where women are undervalued, women are at a greater risk of being sold, abused and trafficked. A big shame on human traffickers, breaking homes and robbing women of their human rights because of greed and love for easy money. These heartless beings are obviously not concerned about the life of their fellow being.
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