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The Tragedy Is There Are Plenty More Women Like Criselda Dudumashe And Bathabile Dlamini Who Defend Abusive Men

"Men dominate women through the agency of women themselves."

21/08/2017 15:55 SAST | Updated 21/08/2017 16:29 SAST
University of Zululand
Criselda Dudumashe.

Why is it that we fail to call out our family members or friends when they either show signs of violence or outright violate women? The culprits to this behaviour are women, women are among the first to defend abusive men.

This weekend, radio anchor, author and civil rights activist, Criselda Dudumashe, took to Facebook and wrote a post [which has since been deleted] about Manana being a good man and how he has "dedicated his life to developing those who are on the margins throughout his drive and passion for youth development."

Dudumashe then ends the post by highlighting the qualifications Manana holds and mentioning his contribution to the South African political landscape, ending her post by saying: "My leader Mduduzi Manana, thank you for serving humanity I hope you find closure that won't move you away from serving the people of this country. There I said..."

Essentially, Dudumashe was saying that Manana is a good human who has done much for South Africans and that this case of assault should not take away from his track record as a politician and activist.

What is clear from Dudumashe's defence of Manana is that violence against women will not come to an end anytime soon as long as women like Bathabile Dlamini and the ANCWL and the likes of Dudumashe always come to the defence of perpetrators at the expense of the very women they claim to advocate for.

It is during times such as this that it becomes glaringly evident that us as women are on our own. We believe we are led and yet the very women who are said to be championing the rights of women are patriarchal princesses who are quick to come to the defence of the men who enact their violence on the bodies of women.

Sifelani kanti? These mascots of patriarchy and chauvinism need to be called out on their blatant disregard for the lives and dignity of women. This is how men win, as MamuWinnie Mdikizela-Mandela says: "men dominate women through the agency of women themselves." We need more women mobilising to create better realities for each other and to support each other, because, at the end of it all, we are all we've got.