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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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How Technology Is Playing a Crucial Role in the #EndSARS Protests

Young people in Nigeria have successfully managed to use technological innovations to organize and make the #EndSARS protests run incredibly efficiently and easily. This moment will go down in history as a revolution that was birthed via technology.

It has been more than a week since young people in Nigeria took to the streets to demand that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, infamously known as SARS, be scrapped for good. Created in 1992, this police unit was originally set up to beat back armed robbery, the use of firearms and rising cases of kidnappings that grew in the late eighties. However, the unit went rogue, becoming more notorious for its savagery than actual crime-fighting. With a rap sheet ranging from profiling, harassment and assault to, in more extreme cases, slaughtering innocent citizens, these quasi-officers have unleashed terror on the nation for more than two decades.

Their victims are predominantly young Nigerians profiled on appearance—whether they drive exotic vehicles, use the latest gadgets, have their hair dyed or locked, or have piercings. In some cases, working in tech often gets conflated with financial fraud. For people who don't meet the absurd criteria, the mood of the officer can often become the difference between life and death.

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