Recent incidences in Malawi and India of abuse of women clearly show a broken culture where perpetrators are excused and victims blamed…

I have been getting quite vexed at the number of insane news that I have been reading about in the media regarding causes of violence against women. In December 2012 in Malawi, young ladies were assaulted because they wore miniskirts!

My question is: How can a mini-skirt be “rape-provoking?”

Aren’t we skirting the issue?

It is not the skirt that gets a woman raped but it is a man that rapes a woman. If we want to blame rape on the clothing that women wear then how can we explain a grown man raping an 85 year old or a 2 year old? Did the diaper make the man so aroused that he had to rape a poor, helpless child? I mean, seriously??

It is only after an outcry in social media that a Malawi government representative denied that the government had approved such a decree. But the damage had been done. The girls and women in Malawi have been stripped of the right to dress as they please. They will from now on, think twice before they get dressed to go out to do their business, go to school, go to work. What a strain that will have on the mind, psyche and self-esteem!

Women across Africa are being stripped off their clothes in the name of “protecting them against being raped.” Women have been harassed and ridiculed, even attacked for decades just because they were wearing miniskirts or tight-fitting clothes. I am truly at a loss why this is allowed. The alarming thing is that the recent case of gang rape that happened in India has also produced the same ridiculous comment about women’s type of dress as being the catalyst to them getting raped.

The time is way overdue that we as human kind stop blaming victims for the horrid things that occur to them. If it is a matter of clothing, why is it that men can go around shirtless and they are not raped by women? African societies have for decades, had women who moved around half naked and yet the prevalence of rape wasn’t that high.

Men who want to control others or have shortcomings are the ones who rape. They use alcohol, or other drugs to give themselves courage to perpetrate these crimes. Rape is a premeditated crime, that is why it has nothing to do with how the victims are dressed. Therefore, no woman is raped by accident or because of something she does or does not do.

So please let’s stop this madness of excuses and instead come up with equitable punishment for rapists. Life imprisonment would suffice. As for those industries that aid rapists e.g. the alcohol industry, they should also be held accountable and compensate rape victims when the rapist is found to be intoxicated.