Women are at the forefront of organising marches and protests, building community structures, food co-operatives, healthcare etc. The struggle of violence against women and children matters for the whole left, and its future needs our solidarity, it deserves a clear eye, for its limitations and contradictions as well as faith in its potential. Women and children are not being raped by people they don’t know they are raped by the men that they know.
It is important that our activism should be truly radical, in these kinds of spaces. For it to be revolutionary it must be informed by anti-racism and anti-sexism. We must work towards smashing not only class exploitation but also smashing patriarchy, smashing sexism and toxic masculinity.
We are losing the war on women’s bodies and we are losing it by a landslide given the traumatic rates of femicide, rape, domestic violence, and torture.
At the front lines of this war are sex workers. Sex workers bodies are not only the site of physical struggle as the criminalisation of their work puts them in constant danger. Sadly these struggles are also being fought inside the spaces that were established as sites of solidarity for feminists to unite and oppose this patriarchal society.
What most people don’t realise is that this question itself is steeped in moralism and misogyny. It assumes that a women’s value and worth is relative to her body. You are not selling yourself and your client doesn’t own your body.
In many countries, access to land justice for women is limited because of cultural, social and institutional barriers. As a result, women tend to be denied access to justice more often than men.
One reason why women have particular difficulty in ensuring recognition of their land claims is because they often have very little power to challenge their rights to land. Women are specifically targeted because of their higher level of illiteracy and lack of education about land rights. In South Africa, this behavior is tolerated. Social assistance is minimal and our government is using violence to silence the poor of the poor further marginalising them.
We know that changing the law is not going to be the silver bullet that ends gender -based violence or defeats the patriarchy. However, it will be one step closer to building a world where decisions about women bodies aren’t made in their absence.
We as Makukhanye Rural Movement, we fiercely defend a woman’s right to say “NO”. We equally fiercely defend her right to say ” YES”
Women can do it! “There is no true Revolution, without the Women’s Liberation “.
*Article submitted by Mziwoxolo Sume, Makhukhanye Rural Movement