Women’s Day: KZN lawmakers celebrate with local communities

2010-08-09 00:00

WOMEN’S Day celebrations began at the weekend with the sixth annual sitting of the Women’s Parliament at KwaMsane sports ground in Mtubatuba.

The speaker in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, Peggy Nkonyeni, said the aim of the parliament is to give women in communities a platform to raise issues that affect them and to discuss the issues with members of the legislature.

Nkonyeni said they chose to hold this session in the Umkhanyakude district because most women in the area still bear the brunt of poverty.

The parliament will culminate in a Women’s Day celebration today hosted by the provincial government.

Premier Zweli Mkhize said the theme of the celebrations will be “Working together for equal opportunities and progress for all women: Forward with the Decade of Women of Africa”. The programme will include a parade, talks, music and song as well as exhibitions of women’s work in various fields.

Another event that will celebrate and recognise the contribution of women will be a gathering to recognise anti-apartheid stalwart Dr Margaret Mncadi. This will take place at the Mariathal Roman Catholic Church in Ixopo. The function will also honour the first four Zulu priests ordained in the Mariannhill Diocese.

On Friday, there will be a workshop for women refugees about human trafficking organised by the provincial Office of the Status of Women and several other organisations.

On August 28, the Co-operative Bank of Women’s Stokvel Organisations will be launched in Ethekwini. The Office of the Status of Women will support this initiative, which is led by the wives of pastors.

Mkhize said the purpose of the event is to encourage women members of stokvels to build a strong network with the aim of reaching stokvel organisations around the province.

The Women’s Month celebrations in KZN will end on August 30 with a gala evening to honour leading women achievers with disabilities.

 

THE core problem facing women in South Africa today is that so many lose their opportunities before they use them, says Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille

In a Women’s Day statement, Zille quoted a recent South African Insitute of Race Relations Survey which found that more than 72 000 girls between the ages of 13 to 19 did not attend school last year because they were pregnant. “Most of these young girls will drop out of school, and their opportunities in life will be severely limited as a result,” said Zille.

Paying tribute to women in South Africa, she said there is some cause for celebration in the progress made in expanding oportunities for women. However, much still needs to be done.

The DA leader called for a pledge from South Africans to ensure that every girl child can develop her full potential. She also urged fathers to take more responsibility for their children by not defaulting on maintenance payments.

“Unless we establish a culture of responsibility as the foundation of society in South Africa, women’s emancipation will remain a pipe dream,”said Zille.

Independent Democrats leader Patricia De Lille called for a commitment to ensure that poor women begin to taste the fruits of democracy.

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