Tone deaf women’s department trolls women


The Department of Women doesn’t have a stellar reputation to begin with. And on Thursday it went some way towards cementing that reputation for failing the people it’s meant to serve by wading into the debate Marie Claire’s controversial “In Her Shoes” campaign with a tone-deaf tweet.

The August campaign features 18 male celebrities wearing high heels, ostensibly to feel what it is like to be a woman and to stand up against gender-based violence.

One of the celebrities profiled in the spread is 5FM DJ Euphonik, who was charged with domestic abuse by then girlfriend Bonang Matheba just a few years ago.

Focusing specifically on Bonang and Euphonik’s case, on Thursday morning the Department of Women asked what should be done with women who withdraw cases of domestic abuse after pressing charges.

Tweeple immediately pointed out the victim blaming tone of the tweets and the fact that dropping abuse charges does not mean that the abuse never happened.

But the department wasn’t backing down.

And then insisted it was just asking an innocent question.

No doubt this will all be brushed off with a claim that it was all in the interest in spurring debate and spreading knowledge, or some such.

This is not the first time the Department of Women has alienated women with their warped views. Last year at the launch of 16 Days of Activism against the abuse of women and children, Minister Susan Shabangu silently nodded when a fellow speaker said that feminism is unAfrican and women must submit to their husbands.

Will South African women ever get the representation they need from government? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

– Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.


  1. The department of Women is a nikampoop of a department. I do not understand their mandate? To promote gender equality? They can’t even do it during women’s month!?

  2. I think it was a legitimate question…. Women sometimes accuse falsely and innocent men lose their reputation. Why is it not a fair question to ask on social media?

    • There is a difference between laying a charge against someone and then dropping the charge – either because you have reconciled with the person, been threatened by the person or pressured by other people into dropping the charges, or are afraid of or incapable of pursuing further legal action – and laying false charges against someone. Just because a person chooses not to pursue legal action, does not mean that there was no case to answer. The tone of the department of women’s tweet implied that a person who lays charges and then drops them – something any citizen is legally entitled to do – is in the wrong.


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