Hon­our women’s strug­gle at con­fer­ence

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - THIS WEEK YOU’RE SAYING ... -

WE must all join women of our coun­try and de­clare boldly that the strug­gle for women is not over, and that we will sup­port women in the task to be cham­pi­ons who would en­sure the re­al­i­sa­tion of the ideals of South Africa en­vi­sioned in the Free­dom Char­ter.

What is im­por­tant with re­gard to the Au­gust com­mem­o­ra­tion, is to learn from the courage women had in shap­ing their des­tiny, de­spite the enor­mous odds against them.

In our times, the mean­ing of Au­gust re­mains the yearn­ing for ed­u­ca­tion by our women – and mostly young women – con­sis­tent with the de­mands of our econ­omy.

In Au­gust 1956, it was about re­ject­ing the apartheid pass laws sys­tem that sought to op­press them, and to­day is about call­ing for ac­cess to eco­nomic and skills de­vel­op­ment that would help re­verse the sys­tem­atic marginal­i­sa­tion of our women and moth­ers, in what oth­ers have called a “two-econ­omy” sce­nario, and af­ford our women de­cent and qual­ity jobs as well as so­cio-eco­nomic equal­ity.

We would in­deed have failed the gen­er­a­tion of the 1956 women if we dare for­get that none among our women must feel marginalised or with­out real op­por­tu­nity to de­velop.

Our strug­gle for women is not that of co­me­di­ans shout­ing from the top of moun­tains, but one in­formed by real chal­lenges fac­ing our women who still con­sti­tute the ma­jor­ity of the un­em­ployed, abused and those feel­ing iso­lated.

Many of our women were per­se­cuted for the free­dom that we en­joy to­day, and they did this with­out ex­pec­ta­tion for gain, be­cause they were in the ser­vice of their coun­try and peo­ple.

To­day, thanks to their his­toric and heroic strug­gles, we have through free­dom the op­por­tu­nity to com­mem­o­rate their role in con­di­tions of peace and democ­racy as we cel­e­brate Women’s Month.

Our women are highly po­lit­i­cally con­scious, and we will re­ject the no­tion that women are housewives, in­doc­tri­nated as though they were some ro­bots whose sole pur­pose of ex­is­tence is to cook for men and to ful­fil tasks set by the pro­gram­mer.

Our moth­ers and women must be cen­tral in de­ter­min­ing the out­comes of the chal­lenges we face in the var­i­ous facets of our na­tional de­vel­op­ment, lest they cry foul af­ter decades of democ­racy that free­dom means noth­ing to them.

For this rea­son, I call on ANC branches to sup­port the elec­tion of a fe­male ANC deputy pres­i­dent at the 54th na­tional elec­tive con­fer­ence. I call on ANC branches to field com­rade Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa as the ANC pres­i­dent and that the deputy pres­i­dent be a women of com­rade Lindiwe Sisulu’s char­ac­ter.

We all owe this pre­cious free­dom to the var­i­ous gen­er­a­tions of women who fought for our free­dom.

We owe hero­ines, such as Char­lotte Max­eke, Lil­ian Mased­iba Ngoyi, Ade­laide Tambo, Nontsikelelo Al­bertina Sisulu, Ruth First, He­len Joseph, Nonyamezelo Mx­enge, Ruth Mom­pati, and all women whose lives were sub­mit­ted to achieve this democ­racy.

In do­ing so, we must also be vig­i­lant in the face of in­tense an­tag­o­nism. It must never elude us that forces of counter-revo­lu­tion re­main ac­tive and are wait­ing in the wings to pounce and de­stroy this ANC’s hard-fought democ­racy.

Let’s be united in this view as we march to­wards the 54th NEC and as East­ern Cape branches be united to­wards the eighth pro­vin­cial elec­tive con­fer­ence by en­sur­ing that we field com­rade Luba­balo Os­car Mabuyane as the pro­vin­cial chair­man, com­rade Mlungisi Ger­ald Mvoko as deputy pro­vin­cial chair­man, com­rade Lu­lama Ngcukayithobi as the pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary, com­rade He­len Au­gust-Sauls as the deputy pro­vin­cial sec­re­tary and com­rade Ba­balo Madik­izela as the pro­vin­cial trea­surer, and not iso­lat­ing com­rade Phu­mulo Masaulle to the in­com­ing NEC of this glo­ri­ous move­ment.

Masaulle's lead­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence is highly needed in the ANC NEC. We ap­pre­ci­ate his role in our pro­vin­cial pol­i­tics for the past two terms at the helm as chair­man. He de­serves the NEC and I soberly call to him as a per­son to lead on this call.

COM­RADE VIWE SIDALI, EAST LONDON

SHAP­ING DES­TINY: ANC branches should field Cyril Ramaphosa as ANC pres­i­dent and a woman as ANC deputy pres­i­dent

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