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.