South Africa has proven to be one of the most progressive countries on the African continent in terms of observing tolerance and people’s rights, especially the rights of minority groups. However, although South Africa has made positive strides in equality and in guaranteeing rights, especially pertaining to sexual orientation, the country has seen a dramatic rise in brutal attacks against lesbians. This is in spite of Section 9 of the South African Constitution of 1996, which guarantees the right to equality and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, as well as in spite of South being a signatory to the 2008 United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity.
One would also imagine that South Africa, being the only African country to recognize same sex marriage practice would make it safer for all, including lesbians. The reality unfortunately is not so. Despite this progressive legislation, corrective’ rape – otherwise known as ‘curative rape’ – is a growing problem in many townships across South Africa.