South Africa Minister Tells Schoolgirls To ‘Open Books And Close Legs’

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BBC News:- A regional health minister has come under fire in South Africa for telling schoolgirls to “open your books and close your legs”.

Phophi Ramathuba made the comment during a visit to a secondary school in a bid to encourage abstinence and reduce teenage pregnancy rates.

Social media users criticised the remark and questioned why it was only directed at girls.

Ms Ramathuba defended the message, which she said was aimed at boys too.

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The health minister for Limpopo province was visiting Gwenane secondary school in the township of Sekgakgapeng on Wednesday to mark the first day of the new academic year.

“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,” she told students.

She added that girls were being lured by older men using luxuries like expensive wigs and smart phones.

The comments sparked criticism after a video of the speech was shared on social media.

“This is not an appropriate way to talk to kids about abuse, sex and consent”, one social media user wrote.

Opposition politician Siviwe Gwarube called the remarks “deeply problematic”.

“This was an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with these learners about consent… Instead you victim blame. Place undue pressure on girls”, she said in a message on Twitter.

Ms Ramathuba told South African news site TimesLIVE that her statement had been taken out of context, and was directed at boys too.

“I told the boys to focus on their education and not sleep with girls,” she said.

She added that her constituents in Limpopo “appreciated the message”.

“They were even saying that they were afraid to say these things and thanked me for calling a spade a spade,” she said.

Government statistics show that almost 33,400 girls under the age of 17 gave birth in South Africa in 2020.

Save the Children says a lack of access to comprehensive sex education as well as affordable and appropriate health services are key factors contributing to teen pregnancies in South Africa.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


  1. Lmao South Africa is such a shithole you have no idea. These people are useless and can’t even grow their own food. A disgrace. Mandela was also a terrorist who killed many innocents.

  2. @roro you are on point – women carry bellies men don’t. I also add as my grand mother use to say – “a woman who carries can not deny it’s her child a man who deposit can”.

  3. The advise to girls was harsh. “Close your legs”. But for men is “don’t sheep the girls” Why not say stop depositing their sperm. I’m tired of hearing this phrase concerning women close your legs because sometimes girls legs are forced to open by men and this is when rape normally occurs. If legs were meant to be closed women would not be able to walk. So stop using this phrase., it has been abused too much now.

  4. How about also dealing with the adults who have sex with these children and say they want it.

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