23 April 2014

South Africa: Op-Ed - The Telling Electoral Silence On Patriarchy


For anyone who is concerned about gender equality, it is significant that patriarchy is not raised by any political party in their election campaign. One understands the silence of the patriarchs who lead or hold prominent places in the ANC and its allies, but what of the organisations that purport to oppose the Zuma project?

We live in a society where violence is omnipresent. That violence is gendered, almost entirely masculine attacks; on other men, in private action by thugs in the streets or men attacking women in their homes and other places.

It is also manifested in readiness of authorities to assault or open fire. Before Marikana, government ministers and police chiefs were ready to use deadly firepower. There had been rhetoric in the Thabo Mbeki presidency, through Susan Shabangu amongst others that encouraged this.

But incitement has heightened during the Zuma presidency, where use of force is a daily occurrence. Footage shows police gratuitously beating up patrons of shebeens. Police dragged taxi driver, Mido Macia, at the back of their van for miles and then beat him to death. Police undress people in public and assault them.

Some have been convicted but the extent of...

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