A few weeks ago, the woman who had falsely accused my father, Mavuso Msimang, of sexually harassing her almost two years ago withdrew her case against him. It was a hollow victory. The withdrawal per se was an anticlimax. As a family, we were hoping the case would go to court, so that we could get justice, in addition to peace.
''...The thing is, I am tired. I am tired because every day women's bodies are broken: thrown down stairs, set on fire, burnt with chemicals. I am tired because women's vaginas are considered dirty and those who like sex are treated with suspicion.'' In an open letter to President Thabo Mbeki, gender activist Sisonke Msimang pleads for an end to the denial of women's fundamental rights.
In 1976 we were toddlers. Although both of us are black and female, our lives were profoundly different then. When freedom came in 1994, one of us was a 21-year-old studying in the United States. The other â€” age 19 â€” stood in a long, laughter-filled queue under a brilliant April sky in Natal. Promise Mthembu and Sisonke Msimang reflect on the young people who changed the face of history, and the state of the youth today.