MISA-Swaziland (Mbabane)

Swaziland: Culture of Rape 'Taken Root in the Fibres of the Fabric' of Swaziland, Says Newspaper

press release

Rape is a big problem in Swaziland.

The Times of Swaziland, in today's editorial, commented on the recent trial of man who raped a 53-year-old woman. The man received 12 years in jail for his crime.

"Unapologetic sentences of this nature may well be the deterrent that rapists need. The understanding that another human being's body is exactly that; another human being's body, and you have no right to it," says the Times of Swaziland.

"Rape continues to be a despicable social disease that has taken root in the fibres of the fabric that make up our society."

Health professionals have said the culture of rape contributes to the already high rates of HIV in the country.

Swaziland has the highest HIV rate and TB rate in the world and 70 percent of the population live in hunger. According to the World Bank life expectancy in Swaziland is 48.

Swaziland is an absolute monarchy and is ruled by King Mswati III, who has been in power since 1986. The king has power over the judiciary, the legislature and the cabinet.

Many people are afraid to question or criticise the king and the monarchy in public.

The BBC reported King Mswati is rated by Forbes magazine as the world's 15th richest monarch with a personal fortune of $100m.

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