QUOTE(Malleus @ Mon 27th June 2011, 7:38pm)
QUOTE(Anna @ Tue 28th June 2011, 1:33am)
Read the BBC report if you don't believe me.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1909220.stm
"It is a fact that a woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped, than learning how to read."
The BBC does not limit the statement to only black women. In fact, they show one white victim and one black victim in their report.
That's rather shocking, and rather revealing that South Africa's Deputy President Jacob Zuma blames apartheid for "sowing the seeds for the breakdown of the institution of the family", instead of his own government for failing to deal with it.
Except that he's right. Actually, detailed crime statistics, particularly for black inhabited areas were not even collected under apartheid, which tells you something already. But the fact is that at the dawn of democracy in 1994/5, when the new government DID initiate the collection of such data, South Africa was already one of the most crime ridden countries in the world, particularly given its relative level of income (I believe 2nd most dangerous country in the world in 1994). I don't know if the crime rates have gone up, down, or stayed the same since (I'd have to look up exact data again), but he's clearly correct in saying that the problem was "sown" during apartheid.
There's also some indication that only a portion of the crime rate - about a third - is actually sensitive to government efforts (more money on police, more police, etc) - with the rest being pretty much driven by unemployment (which has always been high - and under apartheid, especially for blacks) and the demographic structure (SA has a TON of young males).
Note also that saying that "seeds were sown" is different than making excuses for not dealing with it (both those things could be true).
And in terms of rape specifically, as it turns out Australia's not that far off, neither is Canada, and Sweden is moving up there: report page 25
. Sometimes stuff like this gets made out to be a third-world-country issue, or specifically a "oh that fucked up Africa" issue but in this case it simply isn't.
And that statement about learning how to read simply cannot be true. Sound bites like this are often created to bring attention to a very real problem - and for best of intentions - but female literacy rate in South Africa is pretty much the same as in US; above 90%. 97% according to this report
, which means that virtually all women in South Africa learn how to read. According to the BBC article itself, the chance a woman has of being raped is 1 in 4, before age of 16. Even allowing for a higher rate over life time, it would have to be more than 97%, and in that case, if it somehow was, that kind of numbers are going to be so close together that given statistical uncertainty inherent in such comparisons means you just can't say which one would be higher. But it probably isn't. Which isn't to say that this isn't a super huge problem...
...I don't know, personally I have mixed feelings about this kind of "lying for a good cause" (which is what that sound bite, repeated by BBC News (what did Doc Macdonald says about newspapers not being reliable sources? For somethings, it's not just the Daily Mail) is). On one hand it brings attention to a real problem and maybe gets people to try and do something about it. On the other, it is still lying and in some sense trivializes the issue.
Edit: Looking at the literacy chart, I could see the sound bite being true if this was 1980 we were talking about. Not 2010.This post has been edited by radek: Tue 28th June 2011, 8:57am