ANCWL targets glass ceiling
Push for women to lead party
THE ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) continued to defy the party by maintaining that it did nothing wrong by pronouncing outgoing AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as its preferred candidate for president in December.
Initially, the league publicly made its choice of DlaminiZuma on Saturday, on the eve of the ANC’s January 8 statement, which was delivered by party president Jacob Zuma at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
In his address, Zuma made a call to the leagues, alliance partners and branches of the party to refrain from making public pronouncements, and rather to discuss the quality of leadership needed to lead the ANC as it gears up for its national elective conference.
The ANCWL’s pronouncement was also slammed by secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, who described the members’ actions as irresponsible and ill-disciplined.
But the league stood its ground yesterday, with members saying they did not defy any rules of the ANC.
League secretary-general Meokgo Matuba said the organisation “did not deviate in any way from the long-standing mandate from its members and supporters to pursue the call for the election of the ANC’s first female president and having a minimum 50 percent representation in the top six of the ANC”.
“In its 105 years of existence the ANC has never had a female president and 50 percent representation in the top six of the ANC. That glass ceiling will be broken by having a female president giving closing remarks in the 54th ANC national conference in December 2017, and other female cadres being in the top six of the organisation.
“The call for the first female president and having 50 percent representation in the ANC top six has gained relevance and necessary significance. Therefore, pronouncing on the preferred candidates to be lobbied cannot in any way be interpreted as a form of ill-discipline,” Matuba said.
She added the league was pursuing the ANC’s policy on equality and non-sexism, saying members would not be persuaded to stop their decision to call for the members of the party to elect the first woman as president in December, and having women equally forming part of the top six.
“The ANCWL carries in it a responsibility to be the voice of reason and critical body of opinion within the ANC and broader society in so far as it relates to gender equity and parity. The ANCWL welcomes the support received from its members, supporters, society in general and other progressive women political structures within and outside Africa for this announcement.
“The success of the ANCWL in realising a goal of having the first ANC female president will be a success of women structures across the globe, and motivation for them to continue with an agenda of having a world that is not patriarchal.
“The patriarchal system, which is protected by the beneficiaries and proxies of patriarchy, must be exposed and dismantled,” said Matuba.
She said the unity and integrity of the ANC was sacrosanct, and was high on the league’s agenda.
“As an integral part of the ANC, the ANCWL will clarify to the ANC its decision to release the summary report of its NEC meeting and not engage the ANC through public platforms.
“The ANCWL calls for all South Africans to join us in the journey of building a non-sexist and prosperous country by transforming the political and economic structures which marginalise women purely on the basis of gender. Women have the capacity to lead. The ANCWL will be recorded in history as one of the formations that led to the demise of patriarchy in politics and other sectors in the world.”
ANC spokesperson Khusela Sangoni said officials would not comment on the ANCWL’s statement.