Sunday, April 17, 2011

1in9 silent protest

"it is estimated that a woman born in south africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read". the first time i heard this i was completely shocked. in my very own country, a country i often praise for the progress (however slow) it has made in terms of trying to bridge many inequality gaps, women's (and men's) bodies are subjected to such tyranny. before coming to university, i had never been able to put a face to the chilling statistics i'd read. however in my first year, during my first experience of the silent protest, i saw friends of mine, girls i had laughed with, girls i had set next to in a lecture, wearing t-shirts with the words "rape survivor" on them. that was the day i made a concious decision to always support the 1in9 campaign.

the one in nine campaign was established in february 2006 at the start of the rape trial of president jacob zuma to ensure the expression of solidarity with the woman in that trial as well as other women who speak out against rape and sexual violence. currently in south africa, only 1 in 9 rapes are reported to the police and with the cases that do reach the courts less than 5% of men get convicted. the 1in9 silent protest campaign is an inspiring initiative organised by larissa klazinga (dean of students office) and gender action project, but mobilized by the students (male and female) and staff at rhodes university. it is a day where support is expressed for women who speak out.

sexual violence against women and children is not a myth. it is the attempted murder of someone who will remain breathing and feeling. i admire the courage of the women that survive such an ordeal. i am inspired by them, because by them waking up and living each day, the rest of the world is able to live through these forces to be reckoned with.

please take a moment to check out pictures taken from the 1in9 silent protest.

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