PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Chriso
 
Comments: 0
Article views: 8
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Chriso's badges.
 

Women are workers too!

30 July 2013, 09:45
WOMEN ARE WORKERS TOO!
South Africa is notorious for being the ‘rape capital of the world.’ 30 to 60% of rape cases are withdrawn and only 7% of reported rapes in South Africa result in a conviction after two years compared with 19% convictions in the United States and 10% in England & Wales. The alleged rape case involving one of the leaders of the giant trade union movement, COSATU, has touched a chord.

The sad part is the failure of this important issue and moment to provide ample space for a wide spectrum of participants to condemn the general abuse of women in society and in the workplace in particular. One must admit that the issue does begin to question our revolutionary Marxist morality - both theoretically and practically - and therefore can be seen as a kind of 'theoretical litmus test'.

Another important fact relates to the nature of the diminished voice as represented by the silence of women in trade unions in using the moment to raise their discontented voice about the abuse of women in general. Certainly, many groups would have come to identify with this voice, making it a rallying point of mass politics when it comes to the issue of sexual violence lest we forget that workers are women too!

Sadly what has emerged in the process is the male domination of the issues showing the sorry state of ignorance about the dynamics surrounding rape in society and the workplace in particular. As a result, a form of politics that highlights social position as the important factor in determining the veracity of facts became dominant. So did the emergence of conspiracy theories. 
The  role of power in creating conditions of vulnerability as well as culpability were pushed aside as residual. In this regard, it would be correct to point out, just as Clara Zetkin (an early twentieth-century communist leader) did in many of her writings, that every class has its own distinct women question.

When a 23-year-old woman was raped and tortured to death in Delhi, the case captured the attention of the world. Two months later, a 17-year-old girl was raped and tortured to death near Cape Town in an eerily similar case. In both cases, the women were gang raped, mutilated and cut open.

One Kavita Krishnan, for example, asserted in her January 2013 article, that “rape is not an expression of lust for women but of hatred for them…” The silence of women in trade unions is deafening to say the least. Their silence may have shown trade unions as male dominated organizations. Thus bringing to the fore questions of 'male privilege' and the ostensible compensations of "maleness"- the orientation of mass culture toward encouraging women to be "man-pleasing".

Vavi once said; "As we celebrate women’s day, let us re-dedicate ourselves to the struggle for women. We take inspiration to (sic) the words Samora Machel uttered in 1973: 'The emancipation of women is not an act of charity, the result of a humanitarian or compassionate attitude. The liberation of women is a fundamental necessity for revolution, the guarantee of its continuity and the precondition of its victory….'"

While the facts surrounding the Vavi case are still a holy grail the need to speak louder about rape and women abuse is forever relevant. Sexual harassment remains a problem in the workplace. It undercuts women’s potential for social equality in the same manner that apartheid policies undercut the potential for social equality for black women and men in South Africa.

So, as Cde Vavi correctly pointed at the SACTWU Congress in 2001, COSATU must always be seen to be dedicating itself 'to the struggle for women'. Women in trade unions, in particular, cannot expect it to be 'an act of charity'. Whether in times when one or some in their ranks are accused, falsely or truthfully, to have committed misdeeds that undermine their commitment to the struggle for women. Focusing on conspiracy theories and being silent on the fundamental issues at play is selling out on the thousands of women within the ranks of Cosatu and women in general.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

24.com 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
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Sean Parker
Which car would you max on this r...

If given the opportunity to reach the top speed of any car on an airfield, which set of wheels would you choose to go blisteringly quick in a straight line? Read more...

0 comments 3766 views
Submitted by
MikeHampton
Third force behind The President'...

Politics is a knife that cuts into the Public every which way it can. Politics is the sociopath, the Public its willing victim. The Public needs to demand better instead of praising sensationalism, gossip and bias over logic and truth. Read more...

0 comments 799 views
Submitted by
GakwiMashego
Palestinians have nothing to gain...

Palestinian political unity is the biggest threat to the occupation. And demanding that Hamas disarm is the biggest threat to the unity agreement between Palestinian factions. Read more...

0 comments 101 views
Submitted by
Robyn Boake
Once the pride of CT, the MyCiti ...

Up until recently it was a service that Capetonians were proud of, a service bragged about as an example of what could be achieved as a solution for the masses. But that all changed. Read more...

0 comments 487 views
Submitted by
Jan Badenhorst
Matric results in less than a mon...

The matric results for the 2017 matric class will be available to students at their schools, in the newspapers and online, on 5 January 2018. Read more...

0 comments 710 views
Submitted by
Lindie Langa
#CR17 camp must guard against ove...

Anything is still possible, and it doesn't take a miracle for the votes to swing any which way on voting day. Read more...

0 comments 129 views
 

services

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2017 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.