Xingwana needs a turnaround strategy

2012-04-07 12:44

South Africa is representative of the ability to overcome obstacles that are deemed impossible.

Our ability to unite across racial boundaries for democracy to prevail is a victory that is synonymous with our unique “rainbow nation” identity.

But in the midst of this accomplishment lies a history of injustice that continues to disparage the position of women, children and the disabled in our society, which devalues basic human rights.

A look at our headlines on a daily basis is indicative of the social crisis in which we find ourselves.

As we grow desensitised to the brutal rape and murder of vulnerable individuals, one wonders what our leader in the ministry of women, children and people with disabilities is doing.

Here is a picture of the democratic South African reality we are all so proud of.

As a woman, I am a victim of rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence as our male counterparts use their physical strength to violate our bodies.

Our children are molested by family and strangers alike, their innocence taken from them before they can experience the small joys of life.

Taking a trip to the mall is a logistical difficulty for disabled people as our public transport system does not take into consideration their mobility.

At a time when equality is imperative to exercise our democratic rights and lead fulfilling lives, it is shameful to acknowledge the non-participation and invisibility of the ministry of women, children and people with disabilities.

Minister Lulu Xingwana needs to conceptualise and spearhead every campaign possible with a strong message of intolerance of injustices perpetrated against the individuals of the department she represents.

This ministry cannot be likened to the others as it should also perform as an activist group.

The failure of the ministry to be visible, proactive and a knowledge production entity through effective activism is typical of the government dogma of breeding a legacy of failed leadership.

The legacy of civil society groups such as the Black Sash is what the ministry should aspire to achieve and surpass.

Unfortunately, just like the ANC Women’s League, Minister Xingwana and her department are out of touch with the issues that are most pertinent to the individuals they represent.

Dissolving the ministry would be a slap in the face of aspirations to equality of a democratic nation.

The National Treasury has allocated R172.2 million to the ministry and Xingwana needs to develop a strategy that will result in a paradigm shift in their current approach and in society alike.

» Taunyane is a journalist with an interest in African current affairs 

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