We encourage women to protest but not what we saw at IEC - Bathabile Dlamini

2016-08-09 15:53
(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

(Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Pretoria - Minister for Social Development Bathabile Dlamini says the government encourages women to protest against injustices, but not in the manner that it was done during the release of the results of the local government elections on Saturday.

Four women had staged a silent protest while President Jacob Zuma delivered a speech, holding placards in remembrance of the woman he was alleged to have raped.

Zuma was tried and acquitted.

"We continue to encourage our young women to peacefully demonstrate but not what we saw at the IEC. That made headlines in a society that is fractured and still in the throes of bitter political campaigning," she said. 

"It does not take us forward in the fight against purveyors of sexual violence and persistent levels of inequalities between men and women in the society," Dlamini said while addressing thousands at the Women's Day Celebration at the Union Buildings on Tuesday.

"We can't dismantle patriarchy when we as women consciously and unconsciously collude with patriarchy by using the on-going war on women's bodies to fight and defend what essentially is a fight for power between elite males in our society."

Dlamini praised young women who today continue to bravely fight against racism at the work place and in the institutions of higher learning. She said the fight against patriarchy must be led by women.

"No man should use women whether young or old to pursue his patriarchal struggles. It is important for us to remain principled and vigilant and consistent in our struggle against patriarchy otherwise our struggle will be in vein.

"If we are to honour the women who fought against apartheid in 1956 and those who fight for the rights of women to have control and autonomy over their bodies today, we have to consciously organise as women through strong women's organisations to advance women’s political, social and economic rights," said Dlamini.

Read more on:    bathabile dlamini  |  pretoria  |  women's day

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