ANCWL tar­gets glass ceil­ing

Push for women to lead party

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - BALD­WIN ND­ABA bald­win.nd­

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.

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