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South Africa’s Culture of Rape?

In South Africa, a new survey has revealed that one in three men in the wealthy province of Gauteng have admitted to committing acts of sexual violence against women. 25.3% of women have admitted to being victims of rape. The survey was done to address the issue of violence associated with South Africa’s patriarchal culture when it comes to marriage and relationships:

Researchers found that more than three in four men said they had perpetrated violence against women.

Nearly nine in 10 men believe that a woman should obey her husband – and almost six in 10 women also agreed with the statement.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world. Last year a survey by the Medical Research Council (MRC) found that 28% of men in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces said they had raped a woman or girl.

A new MRC study in Gauteng, the country’s wealthiest province, found that 37.4% of men admitted having committed a rape, while 25.3% of women said they had been raped.

The survey questioned 511 women and 487 men, of whom 90% were black and 10% white.

So while this survey represents a small sample of men from one province and not the entire population, one can’t ignore the fact that South Africa also has the world’s highest rate of HIV and AIDS cases. For women like me, the more alarming thing is not that violence against women in the part of the world seems to be the norm, but that studies like this are new—spurned by the recent attack of a British couple in Cape Town.

So is South Africa a country where rape gets a soft-hand?

These findings can’t prove that statement, but with these figures point out the real question; What does the government plan to do about it now that the world is watching?

Read more about the survey over at The Guardian.

What’s your view?

Last 5 posts by Shannon Washington