A section in a current curriculum Grade 10 life orientation textbook has caused an outcry on social media, with critics saying it perpetuates a justification of rape, victim blaming and rape culture.
The book contains an exercise in life orientation which sets up a scenario where a young woman names Angie goes to party where people are drinking a lot of alcohol.
Angie describes how her friends acted badly, saying that they pushed her into a room with a boy she did not know and locked the door. They just laughed when she banged on the door to be let out, saying the guy was so horrible… and raped her.
The exercise explains that Angie is too scared to report the incident fearing her parents reaction, and is worried she may be pregnant or has contracted an STI such has HIV.
The school learners are then asked to list two way in which Angie's behaviour led to sexual intercourse.
Community organisation amandla.mobi, have come out saying the scenario as well as the first question asked, are clear and unacceptable examples of victim blaming.
Elijah Mhlanga, Spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education says the department has publically condemned the content and have challenged it on the following basis:
- Confusion between rape and sexual intercourse
- The question seem to want to blame the victim for what took place
He says they've since spoken to the publisher to correct the content and advised the teachers to be conscious of such material when teaching.
We believe that in the past four years that the material has been in our schools, the teacher would have pointed to the learners that the question and the content was wrong for use...— Elijah Mhlanga, Spokesperson for the Department of Basic Education
Listen to the full conversation below: