Equal pay, gen­der vi­o­lence top agenda at fo­rum

Pretoria News - - Metro - VIRGILATTE GWANGWA virgilatte.gwangwa@inl.co.za

EQUAL pay, clos­ing the gap and com­bat­ing vi­o­lence against women and girls were top­ics tack­led at the Dan­ish Em­bassy to mark In­ter­na­tional Day of the Girl Child yes­ter­day.

The sym­po­sium was hosted by the em­bassy in part­ner­ship with Global Cit­i­zen. Ex­perts and ac­tivists shared per­spec­tives on gen­der equal­ity, vi­o­lence against women, girls and non-con­form­ing per­sons, and women’s eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment.

It was also re­vealed that ed­u­cated and skilled work­ers were in great de­mand, but roughly a quar­ter of young peo­ple – mostly fe­male – were nei­ther em­ployed nor in ed­u­ca­tion or train­ing.

Former DA MP Lindiwe Maz­ibuko told those gath­ered that pa­tri­archy needed to be un­done in or­der to get equal pay and close the gap. “I be­lieve in dom­i­nance and seek­ing power, and if we can do that as women, medi­ocre men will be pushed out.”

Maz­ibuko said trans­parency was the way to con­quer pa­tri­archy. “You get to a place where a man and woman have the same qual­i­fi­ca­tions and are in the same po­si­tion, but are not re­mu­ner­ated equally. We need to make salaries trans­par­ent, That way we will have a world free from pa­tri­archy.”

Young ad­vo­cate Nox­olo Ntaka said: “We should not ask for a seat at the ta­ble be­cause the ta­ble al­ready has a lay­out set out for you. We want to change the struc­ture on the ta­ble.”

Dr Ram­neek Ah­luwalia, chief ex­ec­u­tive at the De­part­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing’s HIV, Health, Well­ness and De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre, said: “If 10% of the to­tal rape in the coun­try comes from higher learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions, we have a huge epi­demic. If 62% of women at uni­ver­si­ties and TVET col­leges feel they are not safe in in­sti­tu­tions, we have a prob­lem.

“I, as an In­dian man, pay black tax, and a lot of you here are do­ing the same. Now 92% of stu­dents are also ex­pected to be pay­ing black tax, but how are they go­ing to do that when they are be­ing killed?”

NOLO MOKOENA, Lindiwe Sisulu, Nox­olo Ntaka, Dr Bry­lyn Chit­sunge and am­bas­sador Sheila Sisulu dur­ing the sym­po­sium at the Dan­ish Em­bassy. | THOBILE MATHONSI/African News Agency (ANA)

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