Women’s Day: Gauteng women feel least safe

Patricia Mokgohlwa MPL

Spokesperson on Women

Women’s Day tomorrow marks 57 years since the historic march by brave women who demanded freedom, security and justice. Sadly, a lack of security continues to threaten women’s freedom as three out of four Gauteng households headed by women do not feel safe walking in their area.

Women are the bedrock of our nation and the freedoms gained in 1994 mean little if not accompanied by security and real justice. Sadly incidents of rape, other sex crimes and domestic violence remain appallingly high while the conviction rates for these crimes are virtually non-existent.

According to the latest StatsSA Victims of Crime Survey only 27% of female-headed households in Gauteng feel safe walking in their area during the day, compared to 37.2% nationally; while 25.8% feel safe walking in their area when it is dark, compared to 35.8% nationally. Gauteng female-headed households feel the least safe compared to other provinces.

This is a tragic barrier to freedom and limits women’s access to opportunities.

The DA’s Women’s Month campaign, “Wathint’  umakhelwan’, uthint’ nami”, or my neighbour’s concern affects me too, seeks to highlight the issues affecting women in Gauteng and to hold Premier Mokonyane accountable for the various promises to women she is yet to fulfil.

In the coming months the DA in Gauteng will outline its plans to address safety and security of women as we prepare to govern the province next year.