Leaders must stand up for women

2017-08-18 06:00

MORE than 60 years after the mothers of our nation took to the streets to make their voices heard, South African women still have to contend with operating in overtly masculine and patriarchal spaces.

This has informed the gender pay gap, corrective rape, femicide and the blatant abuse of women that is plaguing our society today.

Women have come a long way since that historic march in 1956, which saw them stand up to the cruel and oppressive apartheid regime.

Today, South African women are captains of industry and are working tirelessly not just to crack, but to shatter the glass ceiling.

Sadly, we’ve seen a number of female leaders who should be at the forefront of changing the status quo, doing the opposite and they now defend patriarchy.

Instead of challenging femicide, Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu calls the victim weak.

Instead of supporting victims of sexual assault, the ANC Women’s League supports the alleged perpetrators.

The women of the 1956 generation fought for the rights of women by standing up to an oppressive, racist and masculine system which had very little regard for them.

The women of this country have suffered enough and we need leaders who fight for us and stand up to those who seek to harm us.

If we fail to empower the dynamic and brilliant young girls and women in South
Africa, we will fail the brave women of
August 9, 1956.

DENISE ROBINSON, MP

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