What is Femicide

You might have heard the term femicide being mentioned a lot lately, especially with the increase in stories about young women being murdered by their spouses or boyfriends. Femicide is basically the killing of females, particularly by males, simply based on her gender. Now, this doesn’t mean that a male will go out looking for females and kill her, but it does mean that a male will more likely kill a woman for an offence (like talking back, not obeying him, wanting to leave etc.) than he would a man. For a lot of women, this happens in their relationships either with a partner or ex-partner. This is known as intimate femicide. Here’s more. 

Cases of Femicide include the following:

Women being killed by their romantic partners

South Africa has one of the highest femicide rates in the world – five times higher than the average global rate. What’s worse is that these shocking figures have increased since the beginning of 2017.

Names like Karabo Mokoena, Reeva Steenkamp, Zolile Khumalo and, Aneen Booysens are amongst the many women that are known because their stories went viral, but there are many more victims that are unknown- who have lost their lives at the hands of their partners.

Girls killed for refusing marriage

Some cultures and countries believe in child marriages where young girls are married off to older men. When the young girls refuse, or try to escape these marriages, they end up being abused – or even worse – killed. 

Gender-based violence movements

There are a lot of Gender-based violence movements like Thando Thabethe’s #MakeItStop campaign- that aim to create awareness and continue the fight against Gender-Based violence. Other movements include the Reeva Steenkamp Foundation’s #BluePurpleBlack, #TotalShutDown, #DoneWithSilence, and many more.

With the rise of femicide in South Africa, it’s important for you to always put yourself and your safety first. Gender-based violence is usually committed by people who are close or related to us, so whenever you or someone close to you is violated, then reach out for help because it’s always available. You can contact the following numbers for assistance. 

POWA (People Opposing Women Abuse): 011 642 4345/6

Stop Gender Violence helpline: 0800-150-150

LifeLine South Africa: 0861-322-322

SAPS: 10111

Remember, if you or a friend need someone to talk to, you can speak to me for advice or help here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).