Graça addresses women inequality

2013-08-18 17:03

Pretoria - The wife of former President Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel, said on Sunday she was ashamed that issues of gender inequality in the Democratic Republic of Congo had not ceased.

Machel said efforts by the UN Security Council to see a decrease in rape in the DRC had not yet yielded any success.

She was speaking at the Young Women in Dialogue conference held in Freedom Park, Pretoria.

Around 250 people, mostly women, attended the event.

Machel was responding after a DRC national Kave Bulambo from Women Across Borders told the conference about the issues women faced in her country.

An emotional Bulambo said women in parts of the DRC were largely exposed to rape and gender equality was practically non-existent.

Professor Mo Ibrahim from the Mo Ibrahim foundation said cultural practices continued to hold the nation back.

“Not everything in our cultures is right,” he said.

Ibrahim highlighted that while more women in society were academically successful than men, women continued to be sidelined.

Machel added that while the country upheld customary laws, some of those laws still perceived women in an inferior manner.

“We are confronted with many contradictions,” she said.

She called on change to be brought about for women of all ages.

“When we think of women, we should think of different generations of women,” she said.