Many young women talked about the pressure on them from their personal life experiences, family and friends that builds stress in their lives. Young women appear to struggle with the loss of identity.
“Absent Father issues. Growing up without a Father tends to make us look for our Fathers in the men we date. And mostly it is men that will repeat the cycle from their upbringing / background in getting involved with men that leave them too and they have to raise the children on their own.
“Then there is pressure from families we come from that we make something of ourselves and taking care of their children and leaving home to maintain their households
“There is pressure from the family for us to get married forcing you to end up staying in abusive relationships”.
“There is pressure to keep up with statuses, whether parents can afford it or not, pressure to date certain types of guys in order to keep up with statuses.
“Some young women lack of ambition due to lack of information. They have limited information. They don’t open their minds to the possibilities that await them out there.”
“The lack of self-confidence has made a lot of them fall victim to falling pregnant at young ages, old men take advantage of their vulnerability and family situations.”
“According to what I’ve seen and chats I’ve had, broken families and underprivileged homes contribute somewhat to peer pressure effects, young women all want to feel like they are worth it and unfortunately for most they are taught to find their worth in things and not self. Self-identity isn’t even a concept to many of these young women, family doesn’t encourage them to be proud of their being, society only escalates the damage that is mostly created from the home space’.
The Problem of Identity
“Okay there is a lot facing young African woman nje! Identity- no one seem to really know who they must be these days cause the are so many types of persona that you as a person allowed to be these days. Culture- now days it’s okay not to follow your culture but follow the fake distractive one instead of our true African cultures. Searching- too many looking for love, looking for peace, some are looking for their biological bloodline so they can find purpose. Running- away from responsibility, from self and many are running away from their true calling.”
The Pressure of The Social Media
“Lack of tangible role models; the unlimited and uninterrupted exposure to media is crazy. The media is controlled and so is the audience. We are exposed to one kind/type of role models, not very much options. Education/information is not fashionable enough.”
Pressure on Students From Poor Families
University students in Braamfontein spoke about their problems
“She said Braamfontein is mainly schools and universities, most of the young woman they from poor families and parents can’t afford anything. They here to get education and they lucky to get scholarships or bursaries. She said there is peer pressure and competition
While others they can afford to buy those expensive clothes and phones there are others who can’t and they really feel the pressure. In order for them to have those things they end up dating older man (blessers). She told me that though they get what they want but there is nothing for free
She continues saying that they take them out, introduce them to alcohol or even drugs, buying them food …”
Search for Escape
The pressures of life with little support leads to young women searching for ways to get rid of the pain.
“Quick fix, we want things and we want them now and that has caused us to be lazy, all thanks to media sensationalizing everything. Good honest living seems to be boring, everything is about what people think peers’
“Alcohol, “ukugrover”/ nice time is more important”
“Even when we get educated it’s not for us, but it’s about “living the life” get a job buy a town house a car and hanging with your own.”
“A lot of us young women get into drug usage to let go of the pain we carry. Our actions are sad and irresponsible especially when there are children we need to take care of”
“Unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse seems to be the one destroying our youth. In this kasi there are so many young women who are not working and as a result they feel bored. When weekend comes they will go out and meet some guys who buy them alcohol. The problem is that they will walk alone late-night drunk as a result they exposed themselves to the danger of been raped or killed”
The pressure the young women faces pushes them in the direction of suicide
“This young lady told me that the challenge they have is teenage suicide, teenage pregnancy, girls dating older man. She continues so explain that the hunger for success, studies, peer pressure and cyber bullying lead to many young women having depression. She said many of them they have attempted suicide, others have suicidal thought and few of them the succeed