Women’s Rights in Swaziland

A Brutal Sexual Assault Galvanizes Swazi Women.

An 18 year old girl was beaten and raped, for “wearing a miniskirt.”

The attack has caused outrage, marches, and calls for legal action among the normally second-class-citizen Swazi women.

There have also been calls to make “public indecency” illegal. This law would “ban the wearing of anything that would expose a woman’s thighs, her navel and also the wearing of G-strings.”

The activists are planning more protests, a boycott, and lawsuits against the taxi depot.

This is a sad story: that there are still places in the world where it takes a protest to get rapists arrested is something of a travesty. It is also a happy story: women in Swaziland are taking matters into their own hands. It is, I believe, where the true strength of a world economy comes in handy: not through the imposition of sanctions or heavy-handed diplomacy, but through the interlinking of local networks. Being able to give aid from across the globe is, arguably, of more comfort and more use than doing it for them.

Change, and action, must come from within — all we can do is offer to help.


  1. the kat says:

    but no mention of whether or not exposing a woman’s breasts is indecent… interesting

  2. Sherri says:

    Oh, and I believe part of how the monarch chooses a bride (a year or two ago the girl was under 18 and her parents were quite unhappy) is out of a bunch who dance topless in front of him (ok, they wear beads…).

  3. melinda says:

    This is the same country in which the monarch takes ANOTHER WIFE EACH YEAR.

    My stars, they need a LOT of feminism there.

  4. audry says:

    This is a start. What shocked me is that to prevent further rapes they imposed decency laws, instead of looking at the root cause. Uhh yeah, melinda is right. They need a shot of feminism right up their ass.

  5. Sherri says:

    Kinda like at the idiotic school dances. How’re they gonna know if you’re wearing a thong, institute a policy of looking up your skirt?

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