In South Africa, government official has come under intense fire on social media following her message to school girls.
Limpopo health minister Phophi Ramathuba told school girls at a local school to “open your books and close your legs.”
Ramathuba’s blunt message was delivered at Gwenane secondary school in Sekgakgapeng on Wednesday, where the health minister was monitoring the first day of the new academic year. Ramathuba told the schoolgirls to focus on their studies instead of indulging in sexual activities.
Said the Limpopo health minister,
“Some young people have contracted HIV/Aids because they are with older people, they want blessers. The smartphone and Brazilian hair they bought you don’t come for free; it comes with a disease. We should ban these Brazilian hair extensions in our schools.
“To the girl child, I say: Open your books and close your legs. Don’t open your legs, open your books. Thank you very much!”
The health minister’s message was not well received on social media platforms. South Africans online criticised Ramathuba for her message, arguing that she was placing the whole burden of safe sex practices on girls while saying nothing about boys.
They argued that boys must be held accountable as well and must also take all reasonable steps to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Responding to the backlash, Ramathuba insisted that her words had been taken out of context. She told the TimesLive newspaper,
“I told the boys to focus on their education and not sleep with girls.
“My constituent appreciated the message. They were even saying that they were afraid to say these things and thanked me for calling a spade a spade.”
Doctor Phophi Ramathuba who’s also a MEC visited a school in Limpopo this morning telling the girls to close their legs and open their books.
— Women For Change (@womenforchange5) January 12, 2022
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