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Stop the murder and abuse of women and girls in Swaziland

D 28 février 2014     H 05:31     A CPS     C 0 messages

In the run-up to International Women’s Day, 8 March, the Communist Party of Swaziland is urging all Swazi pro-democracy organisations, NGOs and community organisations to denounce the recurrent murders of women and girls in our country, and to demand equal rights for women at all levels of society.

Three more women were murdered in separate incidents last weekend (16-17 Feb). Every year, scores of women disappear mysteriously or are killed, and thousands suffer violent attacks, including rape, by men.

A few years ago Swazi national David Simelane was convicted of killing 34 women in a reign of terror against women lasting many years. In 2011, an 11 year-old girl with albinism was shot and beheaded. Last year, the mutilated bodies of several women were found.

Often the police do not investigate, or even cover up, cases of the disappearance or murder of women and girls. Some of the murders that have become known have probably been ritual or “muti” killings.

There is a spike in such killings at election time, lending substance to rumours that some MPs are behind the murders in the belief they boost their chances of getting into parliament.

Most violent or murderous attacks on women happen in domestic settings. About two thirds of Swazi women are violently abused, mainly by their husbands.

All this happens within a social and economic context of aggravated inequality between men and women, which is actively sustained by the absolute monarchy and ruling class.

The annual Reed Dance, where girls are made to cavort before the King in case he wants to choose another wife, typifies the subordinate and objectified position of women in our patriarchal society.

The Constitution asserts gender equality. But like most of the Constitution’s lip service to democracy, nothing is done to make women’s equality a reality.

The Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence Act is likewise inadequate window dressing, conceding certain rights to victims but failing to criminalise all gender based violence.

Mswati’s toy parliament upholds the worst attitudes to women, including the 2012 ban on women wearing mini-skirts because they are supposedly “rape-provoking”.

The CPS calls on all pro-democracy organisations, NGOs and activists to

· spotlight the killings of women and girls in Swaziland as patriarchy at its most depraved

· demand that the police investigate and prosecute all killings and violent abuse of women and girls

· highlight the complicity of the Mswati regime in sustaining the oppression of women and girls

· develop and support consciousness raising and self-defence skills among women and girls

· bring to Swaziland the militant message of International Women’s Day 2014 to advance women’s equality by challenging the status quo.

Expose the autocracy ; fight for an equal, just and lasting peace in Swaziland !

Women to the front in the struggle against ; patriarchy, murder, oppression, exploitation and all forms of gender based violence in our motherland !

For freedom, democracy and socialism in Swaziland !


General Secretary

Kenneth Kunene

Tel : +2772 594 3971

Email : ken.manze@gmail.com

International Organizer

Felix Mabaso

Tel : +2774 922 8277

Email : felixmabaso@yahoo.com