Party ‘patriarchy’ comes under fire
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. –
STILL THERE: Former president Jacob Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa drink a toast to the ANC