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"A message to men from South African women" The Justice Desk's '16 Days of Activism Campaign'

Let me tell you something about women.

To illustrate this, I am going to take a spin on an old saying.

Anything men can do, women can do whilst carrying the weight of the patriarchal values that undermine her very existence

Consider this:

You cage us, we break through

You break us, we mend

You spit on our very existence

We rise

You degrade us, disrespect us

And still, we disarm

You censor us, objectify us

And shame us for your thoughts

You label and rate each part of our bodies

You brand our tears as too emotional

And our frowns as too aggressive

You expect us to smile and sit pretty

Whist you take and take and take

You clip our wings

and we invent a new way to fly

You try to own us

But we remain ours to keep.

We have to watch:

What we wear, how we wear it, how we carry ourselves, what we say, how we say it, whom we say it to, if we are too aggressive, too loud, too soft, too prudish, too sexual, too threatening, too approachable, unapproachable, are we safe? Will we be safe if…?

Women are strong. But we shouldn’t have to be.

Women are survivors. But we shouldn’t have to be.

Women do not get to simply be in a space.

Women have to resist, adapt and survive every day, in every context.

Resilience runs through the veins of women. But it is enough now.

I am tired of women and girl children having to adapt and be resilient to fit your will.

It’s time society, it’s time men; wake up and begin to challenge the root causes of gender inequality and injustice.

It’s time for women and the girl child to feel safe, to feel free, to flourish.

Join The Justice Desk to stop gender-based violence.

Visit to find out how you can help.

Watch the video below:

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