Gender body wants talks with Sadtu

2013-05-04 07:19
(Picture: Beeld)

(Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) intends meeting teacher union Sadtu about the conduct of its members during a recent march, the commission said on Friday.

Spokesperson Javu Baloyi said the commission received an open letter written by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga following the display of women's underwear.

Protesting members of the SA Democratic Teachers' Union said this was the "minister's underwear".

In the open letter, Motshekga expressed her displeasure at the display of women's underwear and said it "illuminates the prejudices, beliefs and understandings of some men (and some women) that women cannot be fully human..."

Baloyi said the commission was tasked by the Constitution to promote gender equality and the status of women in an effort to ensure that the rights of South Africans were upheld.

"It is thus for this reason that the CGE seeks to look into the matters raised by the Minister and ensure that recommendations are shared with relevant authorities," said Baloyi.

He said while Sadtu had the right to protest "such undertaking should not occur at the expense of or violation of the rights of others".

Baloyi said the Commission for Gender Equality Act empowered the body to investigate such complaints, whether lodged officially or not.

"It is against this backdrop that the CGE intends to hold discussions with Sadtu in relation to the matter," he said.

On Wednesday, the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) and Sadtu denied receiving any correspondence from Motshekga, which was published as an open letter.

The letter to Cosatu, Sadtu and the CGE appeared in the Sowetan newspaper on Tuesday.

Motshekga called on Cosatu and Sadtu to apologise for the behaviour of protesters, who publicly displayed a piece of underwear attributed to belong to her.

In the letter Motshekga wrote: "There can be no debate that the display of women's underwear, as part of the trade union protest paraphernalia, is unacceptable and can only fuel patriarchal prejudices in an environment that is already volatile for women.

"I am pained at this open display of denigration, sexual violence and objectification."

The minister said Sadtu and Cosatu had crossed the line and should apologise to her and all South African women.

Sadtu members marched in Pretoria last week, calling for the resignations of Motshekga and her director general Bobby Soobrayan.

Cosatu said Motshekga was trying to deflect attention from problems in education.

Read more on:    sadtu  |  cge  |  angie motshekga

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