Xingwana: Traditional practices harmful

2012-08-01 17:44
Women's Minister Lulu Xingwana (GCIS)

Women's Minister Lulu Xingwana (GCIS)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Women should raise their voices and give input when the overhauled traditional courts bill is introduced, Women's Minister Lulu Xingwana said on Wednesday.

She said in Cape Town her relentless opposition to the contentious legislation would continue, adding that the bill would not pass constitutional muster.

"For instance, the bill is set to promote all cultural practices and not all cultural practices are good for our communities, especially our women and children," she told reporters on the first day of Women's Month.

She singled out the practices of "ukuthwala" and "ukungenwa".

Ukuthwala refers to young girls being abducted and forced into marriage, often with the consent of their parents.

Ukungenwa is the practice whereby a widowed woman automatically becomes her brother-in-law's wife.

"We have many harmful traditional practices that we cannot protect and promote," she said.

Xingwana said the legislation did not give women an opt-out clause.

Currently, women could choose whether they wanted to access a traditional court or a magistrate's court, but they would not have this option under the proposed law, Xingwana said.

The Traditional Courts Bill has come under fire from various gender rights groups.

In May, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille called for the bill to be scrapped because it undermined women's rights and reinforced apartheid-era homeland powers.

Zille came under fire from the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA (Contralesa), the African National Congress, and the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Contralesa told the DA not to "meddle" in the affairs of Africans, while the IFP and the ANC could not understand why there was so much opposition to the bill.

Xingwana vowed that the bill would not become law.

"Women were not consulted when this bill was drafted and this is the biggest outcry from women," she said.

Xingwana said the Commission on Gender Equality had given its input, but that none of its concerns had been taken into consideration before the bill was drafted.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    anc  |  contralesa  |  ifp  |  helen zille  |  lulu xingwana  |  culture  |  gender equality
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Wallabies win, Boks to face Wales
Scots beat Samoa, end Japan's dream
Woodcock's career ended by injury
Major Payne as Ireland lose star centre
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.