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The fight for democracy must amplify suppressed women voices.

Friday, 4th March, 2022

It is surprising that at this critical time in the fight for democratic reforms, we have found ourselves having to deal with an incident where a young woman was sexually harassed by the police for wearing bum-shorts.

Perhaps, let me make it clear that fighting for democracy means,we want to live in a free society without gender discrimination dominated by royal supremacy where traditional norms and cultural beliefs are paraded as the law.

It is important for the police to differentiate between family law, religious laws and beliefs, Customary Law,the Constitution, the Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence(SODV) Act and other types of laws.

Understanding these types of laws will help a police officer understand that the rights of women are enshrined in the Constitution including international laws and therefore, no officer should be allowed to impose his family laws, culture and religious beliefs paraded as the SODV Act.

The Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence Act(SODV) is a very democratic and progressive legislation that was formulated to among others, protect the rights of women and men, therefore, it shouldn’t be manipulated by low-minded police officers to sexually harass women with impunity.

Police officers are law enforcers but in the case of this young woman, they decided to violate the SODV Act by sexually harassing her while claiming to enforce the law.

Sexual harassment is a crime in terms of the said Act, it’s even worse to note that a crime against the dignity of women was committed by the police.

In conclusion, let me make it clear that women are human beings with the capacity to think, decide and implement their decisions independently.

Therefore, if a woman decides to wear a miniskirt or hot pants, the police and every member of the society must respect that decision as long as the sensitive private parts are well covered, there’s no crime.

Every citizen must understand that people, particularly women cannot live their lives according to what men or the police think, they must enjoy their rights without any disturbance.

Muscular men sometimes walk in town while wearing clothes that expose their muscles and women would scream in appreciation of their bodies, men must also learn to appreciate and move on with their lives.

I have never seen women complaining about the dress code of muscular men claiming they turned them on as women, they respect their dress code.

The fight for democracy must amplify suppressed women voices.
Students Union Deputy President Philile Mavuso during a protest at the Swazi Plaza.