Un­equal ANC still ruled by pa­tri­archy

Min­is­ter speaks out after pres­i­dent con­demns gen­der-based vi­o­lence

Daily Dispatch - - News - ZINE GE­ORGE and LIZEKA TANDWA

While Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa has com­mit­ted to lead from the front in fight­ing gen­der-based vi­o­lence, ANC East­ern Cape leader and min­is­ter of com­mu­ni­ca­tions Stella Nd­abeni-Abra­hams spoke out against pa­tri­archy still ex­ist­ing in the rul­ing party, “whether we like it or not”.

Ramaphosa was ad­dress­ing thou­sands of ANC mem­bers at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Dur­ban on Satur­day when he called on all men to take a stand and com­mit to help­ing fight gen­der-based vi­o­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion, which re­ceived ap­plause from both men and women present.

Ramaphosa de­scribed gen­der-based vi­o­lence as a cri­sis, say­ing “we need to take huge strides in im­prov­ing the po­si­tion of women in so­ci­ety”.

While the ANC has a pol­icy of 50/50 rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women and men in its coun­cils, leg­is­la­tures and par­lia­ment, it found it­self with egg on its face in De­cem­ber 2017 when the ANC’s vot­ing del­e­gates only voted one woman, Jessie Duarte, into the party’s top six of­fi­cials.

Ramaphosa said the ANC had to in­crease its gen­der rep­re­sen­ta­tion within the party’s ex­ec­u­tive struc­tures, as well as pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions.

Ramaphosa, com­ment­ing on gen­der-based vi­o­lence, said: “We need to be more de­ter­mined to end the vi­o­lence that is be­ing per­pe­trated against the women of our coun­try.

“We need to end femi­cide [the killing of a woman or girl, in par­tic­u­lar by a man and on ac­count of her gen­der], as well as rape of women of our coun­try such that they live in peace and se­cu­rity.

“All South Africans have to work to­gether to end gen­der­based vi­o­lence and the pa­tri­ar­chal prac­tices that give rise to it.”

Nd­abeni-Abra­hams said it was cru­cial the pres­i­dent pri­ori­tise the fight against gen­der­based vi­o­lence and the cre­ation of equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for women in both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor.

This, she said, as the ANC’s nom­i­na­tion pro­cesses for the May gen­eral elec­tion con­firms the nom­i­na­tion of men as the top can­di­dates in all prov­inces, with the ex­cep­tion of Mpumalanga. Nd­abeni-Abra­hams said Ramaphosa and his ANCled gov­ern­ment would have to in­ter­vene be­cause it was clear women did not sup­port each other within the ANC.

Ramaphosa won against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma when the party held its na­tional elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber 2017, which was the first time the ANC Women’s League had sup­ported the nom­i­na­tion of a woman as a pres­i­dent since the 1994 elec­tions.

“As much as we al­ways talk about women eman­ci­pa­tion, in the ANC across the prov­inces men dom­i­nate the lists be­cause women do not sup­port each other,” she said.

“We are preach­ing equal­ity but it is the pa­tri­archy that is still there in the ANC whether we like it or not.

“We might not like to talk about it, but it still ex­ists…

“The ANC has to in­ter­vene be­cause it has to lead by its own prin­ci­ples and poli­cies.

“They will have to ap­point women pre­miers. We won’t have all prov­inces hav­ing men as pre­miers.”

Nd­abeni-Abra­hams said if need be, par­lia­ment would have to craft a pol­icy which en­forced the ap­point­ment of women across both the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor.

She said such quotas would have to serve as a guide when boards of state-owned en­ter­prises were re­cruited, as well as se­nior gov­ern­ment po­si­tions such as di­rec­tor gen­er­als and deputy DGs.

Ramaphosa said: “We need to take huge strides in im­prov­ing the po­si­tions of women in so­ci­ety us­ing our con­sti­tu­tion, our leg­is­la­tion and poli­cies.”

The pres­i­dent also com­mit­ted to pri­ori­tis­ing the lon­gawaited multi-bil­lion rand Mz­imvubu wa­ter catch­ment project after the May elec­tion, if the ANC wins.

He said he was fully aware that many East­ern Cape res­i­dents were wait­ing ea­gerly “for this Mz­imvubu project”.

The project, which has been de­layed for many years, is aimed at pro­vid­ing piped wa­ter to sev­eral dis­tricts, in­clud­ing O R Tambo and Al­fred Nzo, and is ex­pected to cre­ate hun­dreds of per­ma­nent and tem­po­rary jobs.

Sev­eral na­tional and East­ern Cape lead­ers at­tended the ANC rally in­clud­ing Buf­falo City mayor Xola Pakati, provin­cial leg­is­la­ture deputy speaker Mlibo Qo­boshiyane, as well as MECs Os­car Mabuyane, Xo­lile Nqatha, Bulelwa Tun­y­iswa and MPLs Sakhumzi Somyo and Mn­i­nawe Nyusile.

The pres­i­dent also re­ceived loud cheers from the crowd when he an­nounced the ANC’s plan to lower data costs.

“We have to deal with data costs, an is­sue which you have raised con­cern about,” he said.

He also gave a stern warn­ing to civil ser­vants who con­tin­ued to do busi­ness with the state, say­ing those who de­fied this would face the con­se­quences.

“Your job is to serve the peo­ple of our coun­try.

“We are warn­ing trans­gres­sors there will be con­se­quences,” he said.

Men dom­i­nate the lists [in prov­inces] be­cause women do not sup­port each other

STELLA ND­ABENI-ABRA­HAMS

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