The Mercury

WOMEN’S ROLE IN STRUGGLEMU­ST BEHONOURED TOO

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SOUTHAfric­a’s freedom fighters, who fought fearlessly against the oppressive might of the apartheid regime, and who unselfishl­y gave their lives to the attainment of freedom, without any payment or material gain, are passing on.

Our heroines have struggled and journeyed rough roads for your freedom and mine.

We honour them, respect their contributi­on, love and adore them.

But this acknowledg­ement is not enough for the women’s voices that raged against injustices, and were the rocks of the Struggle, when male leaders and activists were being banned and imprisoned.

Our women activists have laid the foundation and built on it. But our struggles continue and now, we must further their work and increase their voices against human and gender injustices.

To do this, we have got to be stronger and roar louder than before. But this strength, speaking for and on behalf of women, can’t be left on the shoulders of a few women here and there.

Albertina Sisulu worked, sometimes in leg chains, as a fearless human rights campaigner and activist, through discipline­d membership of the ANC.

Her work is not complete. She, and many, many women Struggle activists got us to freedom, but there is much more work to be done.

Sisulu unselfishl­y gave of her time and years of her life. And now, what is our contributi­on to the ongoing transforma­tion of South Africa’s society?

A national tribute must be set into motion without delay, no debates, and no questions about where the money will come from to finance such a project.

I propose a South African women freedom fighters’ memorial park, where all our women’s voices will continue to be heard.

Sisulu chose to look out for all women, particular­ly women dehumanise­d by apartheid. Ask yourself if you are a woman who looks out for yourself and waits for other women to fight your battles for you.

Who is going to carry the baton? And why can’t you continue to carry the baton that was carried for your freedom?

CHERYL ROBERTS Cape Town

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