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Blame culture for shame

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SILENCED: RULED BY MALES, SHE WAS MOLESTED AND COULDN’T TELL

Patriarchy, ads and entertainment still drives s.e.xualising of young girls – expert. Molested as a toddler, again while she was teaching and nearly forced to marry a person of her parents’ choosing – beat the name of culture and heritage.

This is the story of Ameerah Nazier, now a 27-year-old woman with painful memories of culturally sanctioned silence and shame under the rule of male elders within the community.
Nazier was a part of a little Muslim community in Uitenage, an industrial town outside Port Elizabeth within the Eastern Cape – and that’s where she was molested by a loved one as a toddler .
Running to her parents didn’t help: they immediately shut her down.

The silence continued into her teens where, as a pupil at an Islamic school, she learnt of alleged harassment by teachers and therefore the headmaster against junior female teachers.
The year she turned 19, she became an educator at the varsity and, because those teachers were never called to account, she says she became subsequent victim.

“I knew that I couldn’t be silent, but I was also scared. I had two choices, stay and shut one’s mouth , or leave – so I left,” says Nazier. At the age of 24, her family tried to force her to urge married to a person of their choosing. Fighting for her freedom to settle on a husband cost her her whole family: they need cut her off, refusing to speak together with her .

“I am during a better place now, I even have an exquisite husband,” said. “But I still desire i want to urge this and other stories out there and break the silence in our communities, in order that others won’t need to undergo what I did.”

Deputy Minister of girls within the Presidency Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize says South Africa’s indigenous tribal heritage is additionally replete with troublesome messaging around women and youngsters – a drag whose solution also can come from within tribal leadership settings.

“We have such an upscale culture which teaches us to possess self-respect and knowing our identity in terms of the items we will and can’t do consistent with our beliefs,” says Mkhize.
“But what went on to us as South Africans has also led to us having violence of men against women.
“And there’s not one teaching in our various tribes that tells us to try to to that. Instead, we’ve teachings about respecting women and searching after our youngsters ,” says Mkhize.

“What we’d like to try to to until subsequent heritage month is to permit government decisions to be taken to communities, using these cultural spaces to seem into the roots of the matter and to interact youth on the right behavior and respect that ought to be shown to at least one another as citizenry.

“It isn’t just policymakers but all proponents of our culture that require to be involved in speaking against violence against women and youngsters .”

For organisations like Sonke Gender Justice, anti-GBV messaging and campaigns in South Africa are centred around tackling culturally accepted and defined standards of behaviour which prejudice women and girls.

But consistent with the NGO’s cofounder, Bafana Khumalo, despite the simplest efforts of advocates against this type of thinking and behavior , patriarchy still drives popular culture.
This is evidenced, he says, by advertising and entertainment, which still echoes the objectification of girls , the overt s.e.xualising of young girls and an off-the-cuff attitude towards violence against women.
I had two choices, stay and shut one’s mouth , or leave