CHECKING THE NEWS EACH MORNING BRINGS A CONTINUOUS STREAM OF UPDATES ON STATE CAPTURE IN SOUTH AFRICA.
But do they talk at all about women?
By Janie Booth
State capture has an impact on all citizens of South Africa, but none more than black women. Women’s realities here are determined by race, class, and gender-based access to resources and opportunities. State capture is placing women’s rights at risk: rights like the right to adequate housing, food, healthcare, education, social security and water.
The government can–and should–be held accountable if they do not promote, protect, respect and fulfil these rights. They have a duty to meet the basic needs of all people, and must not do things that make it more difficult to gain access to these rights.
The right that is closest to my heart is education. As a student in university, I see the impacts that schooling can have firsthand. State capture prevents resources from being given to schools that desperately need them. Because of this, girls are at a higher risk of HIV, pregnancy, and trauma when they have to walk long distances to schools, which often lack adequate sanitation facilities. If schools were better resourced, many of these challenges could be addressed.
Studies have proven that investing in girls benefits the whole society. Educated girls continue to invest in their communities, and are able to progress into university and the working world. This begins with schools, which are in need of resources. Money from corrupt deals should be invested here, in turn creating a better society for all South Africans.
In order to achieve empowerment of all women, services like education need to accessible and affordable. Because state capture is aimed at meeting the needs of a wealthy power elite, it has negative effects on the state’s ability to provide these services by diverting budget elsewhere.
Source: Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is being stolen http://pari.org.za/betrayal-promise-report/
Janie Booth is a Junior at Duke University interning at the Women’s Legal Centre. She is studying Art History and is from North Carolina.