Mothers pass baton of struggle

2016-09-01 06:00
 Women from all walks of life attended the event at the Gugulethu Sports Complex.

Women from all walks of life attended the event at the Gugulethu Sports Complex.

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Women need to understand that they do not need to be aggressive or violent to be heard.

That was the catch word during a Women’s Month closing event that was held at the Gugulethu Sports Complex.

Ilitha Labantu was the organisation behind the event and the theme: “Passing the baton to young women”.

Women from all walks of life were invited, including influential women such as Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, Thandi Modise.

Mbethe encouraged women to be activists but carry themselves in a peaceful manner.

“ We as women have became notorious for screaming and shouting to get our point across...

Also, this trend of burning things down when we are angry must end because we are only hurting ourselves,” she said.

She said that a minority complex was ingrained on Black people over centuries and called for young women to be at the forefront of that fight.

Mbete advised young people to take the baton and fight even harder.

“The youth of today are fighting for much more complicated issues than we did back in our time.

Drugs, diseases, crime and unemployment are some of the things that you have to fight to overcome today.

We have become so used to poverty and victimization that it all has become normal to us.

It has become so bad that people don’t even complain anymore and we have to fight this mentality,” she said.

The event also commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Women’s March of 1956, when more than 20 000 women took to the streets to protest against the extension of the Pass Laws to women.

Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph and Sophie De Bruyn led that march.

Lack of economic opportunities was a burning issue with many women noting that some of their peers have even turned to selling drugs to support their families.

Ilitha Labantu founder Mandisa Monakali called on the women in power to consider leardership training for young women.

“I get touched when I look at Nomfanelo Kota (event MC) knowing that she was leader in the ANCYL in the 90s. All of the men she was working with at the time have gone to become minister and deputies and she has not.

This says a lot about the struggle women face when it comes to leadership... we need a leadership academy for young women where they can be groomed and opportunities availed to them,” she said

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