Miss South Africa Wants Men to Write Love Letters to Women to Fight Against Gender-Based Violence
Unfortunately, there's nothing stopping abusive men from writing these love letters too.
South Africa's newly crowned Miss SA Zozibini "Zozi" Tunzi has launched a "HeForShe" campaign which aims to tackle the alarming rates of femicide and gender-based violence in the country. The campaign, which is in partnership with the South African arm of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), wants South African men to step up and join the collective fight against abuse. However, the campaign has been criticized by many because of the way in which it wants men to step—by writing love letters to women. The campaign has divided South Africans, particularly those on social media.
According to The Citizen, after South African men pledge their support to fighting against gender-based violence in their love letters, the letters will be inscribed onto ribbons which will be made a part of Tunzi's costume for the upcoming Miss Universe beauty pageant. Speaking about the campaign, Tunzi said, "In what will be a first, I will literally take SA with me to Miss Universe. I will wear a wave of love from men in the form of love letters celebrating and honoring the women of this country."
The idea of spreading "a message of love" has appealed to some on social media.
Others have however, argued that it makes light of the current national crisis by effectively suggesting that a "love letter" can even begin to address any one of the numerous challenges being faced by South African women daily. They've also pointed out that the campaign can easily be hijacked by abusers of women.