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Females face many different challenges that government needs to address

Mumtaz Moosa Saley | mumtazs@icloud.com
1 min read | 12:00 AM CAT

Photo Credit: Arab Centre

Washington DC

Over the last few weeks, there has been an uproar about the gender-neutral toilets proposed for schools. Immediately gender-based violence groups lit up, and while inclusion was considered, the government failed to look at the bigger picture. 

As a South African female, I have no idea when I last felt safe going out, even walking in public spaces; one must always be hyper-vigilant about one’s surroundings and the people around you. 

Regarding the unisex bathrooms, I’m sure that most females cringed at the thought of sharing a rather personal space with the opposite sex constantly. I, for one, did! 

I’m pretty sure that many people, women especially, resonate with me when I say that there have been many times when using a public bathroom, you have become apprehensive and fearful of entering as you anticipate an attack. So, while the government looks progressive, they need to take note and fix the basics first, which should involve helping females feel safe in public. 

Many schools within the country are not equipped with proper toilets, and many children still face the unsightly pit latrines that endanger their lives. The government needs to begin fixing the basics at schools, or we may see a further rise in gender-based violence.

 

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