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‘Open books and close legs’: South African minister slammed for ‘disturbing’ advice to schoolgirls

After a video of the lecture was uploaded on social media, the comments generated outrage. Siviwe Gwarube, an opposition legislator, termed the statements "very disturbing."

South African minister slammed for disturbing advice to schoolgirls says open book and close legs gcw
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South Africa, First Published Jan 14, 2022, 9:17 PM IST
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In South Africa, a provincial health minister was chastised for telling schoolgirls to "open your books and close your legs." During a visit to a secondary school to encourage abstinence and decrease adolescent pregnancy rates, Phophi Ramathuba made the following observation. Social media users slammed the statement, questioning why it was primarily addressed towards women. Ramathuba defended the message, claiming that it was also intended for guys.

On Wednesday, the Limpopo province's health minister paid a visit to Gwenane secondary school in the township of Sekgakgapeng to commemorate the start of the new academic year. She remarked, "Open your books and shut your legs,' I urge the girl youngster. 'Rather of opening your legs, open your books.' Thank you kindly." She went on to say that older males were luring girls with luxuries like costly wigs and smartphones.

After a video of the lecture was uploaded on social media, the comments generated outrage. Siviwe Gwarube, an opposition legislator, termed the statements "very disturbing." In a Twitter post, she said that this was a chance to have a meaningful dialogue about consent with these students. "Instead, you blame the victim. Put girls under unnecessary stress ", she wrote in a Twitter post.

 

Ramathuba informed a South African media outlet that her statements had been taken out of context and were directed towards boys. She stated that she had counselled the youngsters to focus on their academics and not sleep with other girls. She went on to remark that her constituents in Limpopo "loved the message." According to government estimates, around 33,400 females under the age of 17 gave birth in South Africa in 2020.

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