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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.


READ: South Africans are Marching to Parliament to Protest Violence Against Women

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.



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Photo by Toka Hlongwane.

Toka Hlongwane’s Photo Series ‘Impilo ka Darkie’ Aims to Give an Insight Into Black South Africans’ Experiences

With his latest photo series, 'Impilo ka Darkie', South African photographer Toka Hlongwane offers an imperfect but compelling insight into the lives of the people he has encountered through his travels.

Toka Hlongwane is a Johannesburg-based documentary photographer whose work often casts a lens on society's underclass. His most recent photo series, Impilo ka Darkie, shot over five years, is Hlongwane's attempt to answer two questions: what does it mean to be Black? And, above that, what is the measure of Black life?

Part of Impilo ka Darkie's appeal is that it also documents Hlongwane's growth as a photographer. As the years roll on, his composition becomes stronger, the focus on his pictures becomes much sharper and a storyline begins to emerge in his work.

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