Party ‘pa­tri­archy’ comes un­der fire

The Herald (South Africa) - - 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 Stella Nd­abeni said the prob­lem was that there was still pa­tri­archy in the rul­ing party, “whether we like it or not”.

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

Ramaphosa called gen­der­based vi­o­lence 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 voted only 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 in pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions.

“Gen­der-based vi­o­lence is a na­tional cri­sis and we need to be more de­ter­mined to end the vi­o­lence that is be­ing per­pe­trated against the women of our coun­try,” he said.

“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 said it was cru­cial that the pres­i­dent pri­ori­tise the fight against gen­der-based vi­o­lence and for the cre­ation of equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for women in both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor be­cause, as things stood, women re­mained on the back seat.

She said this as the ANC’s nom­i­na­tion pro­cesses for the May gen­eral elec­tion con­firm nom­i­na­tion lists fea­tur­ing men as top can­di­dates in all prov­inces, apart from Mpumalanga.

Nd­abeni said Ramaphosa and his gov­ern­ment would have to in­ter­vene be­cause it was clear that women did not sup­port each other within the ANC.

Ramaphosa also de­feated Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma at the party’s na­tional elec­tive con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber 2017.

This was the first time the ANC Women’s League had sup­ported a woman for pres­i­dent. –

Pic­ture: JACKIE CLAUSEN

STILL THERE: For­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa drink a toast to the ANC

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