Women are 'far from being liberated'

2011-10-01 22:47

Johannesburg - Women in South Africa are still far from being liberated, said the Congress of SA Trade Unions deputy general secretary on Saturday.

"Years after the dawn of democracy, women still bear the brunt of discriminative cultural practices," Bheki Ntshalintshali said.

He was speaking at the KwaZulu-Natal women’s' heritage dialogue on Saturday.

"We need to make an assessment whether we have indeed made progress in terms of the liberation of women from the bondage of patriarchy."

The governments' withdrawal from the provision of basic services left women with additional burdens and responsibilities.

"It is women who have suffered under the wrath of privatisation of public services," Ntshalintshali said.

Women, particularly in rural areas, were facing an unemployment crisis and those who were employed were likely to be paid less than their male counterparts.

He said it was a disgrace that there were about 600 deaths per 100 000 births in a country where money was spent on elite projects like the Gautrain.

"These facts should make us even more determined to see the implementation of the National Health Insurance as well as the building of a preventative, as opposed to curative, healthcare system," he said.

He said daily patriarchal oppression, economic exploitation and racial injustice should inspire working class women to struggle for a better world.

  • TamaraSays - 2011-10-01 23:22

    Sometimes, surprisingly, I agree with Cosatu. Women are, historically and currently, the most oppressed group in the world. More than any race, creed, religion or culture, women have been oppressed the world over, and it's time it stopped!

      Stephen - 2011-10-02 11:22

      What a lot of kak. For how long are we going to hear about the oppression of women? The feminist movement began almost a hundred years ago, and as a result, women today have all the same rights that men have, in some instances even more rights than men (family law). The feminist movement is an invention of the Western Civilisation, and is therefore enjoyed by women who live in Western societies (with a few exceptions). So why do we still have idiots who say things like women are still oppressed? Its cheap politics, its a point made by people trying to score easy points, points only attainable in a neo-liberal political atmosphere. When are we going to get beyond the victim mentality?

      jen - 2011-10-02 11:41

      Maybe the world is doomed to never move past sexism and racism.

      So What If.. - 2011-10-02 13:02

      Hi Tamara, you are obviously not a white male over 40...

      letsee - 2011-10-02 13:41

      Well said. Apart from Cosatu's economic policies I have no objection to their views. However someone said that Cosatu "exposes" the ANC to get concessions and never drives the "exposures" to conclusions and if so that's like "prostituting" its ideals for ego-centric purposes.

      letsee - 2011-10-02 13:43

      Stephen, Women hve all rights on paper but on the work scene they are at a disadvantage but you are a man and don't notice that.

  • PyroSA - 2011-10-02 00:17

    What exactly is he referring to with his 600/100k infant mortality rate? The US has about 7/1000. This article would imply our mortality rate is lower than theirs? I think in 2009 it was still 44/1000. And while he's badmouthing the gautrain, aren't a significant portion of the dependant Rea Veya busses driven by female drivers?

      Mikemcc - 2011-10-02 07:56

      @PyroSA, I think the 600/100k is actually the death rate of delivering mothers and not infant mortality. Our infant mortality rate is around 43/1000 so it is significantly higher than the US.

  • Craig Louw - 2011-10-02 01:53

    It's funny to me that cosatu is actually in bed with the anc, influencing the masses but yet they are complaining? I also refuse to believe that women are still as oppressed as they say. All of the women I know are free thinking, strong, independent women who don't take crap. Sure there's a high rate of rapes in this country which sickens me. When you put 45 million dogs in pit and only supply enough for half some dogs will eat other dogs. Uplift the people and police them, restore dignity and all these problems will sort themselves out.

  • AirAction - 2011-10-02 06:13

    What a lot of rubbish . just wanting cheap political votes.

  • Newsferret - 2011-10-02 07:02

    COSATU out on cheapskate politicking again. Create a cause to cover reality up with. Of course we are not free yet - we still suffer under job reservation the last and final vestige of apartheid. Only now it is pigmentation-genderbased in an alpha-numerical formula.

  • Deon - 2011-10-02 08:02

    Just shows you how tough the whiteys are. They are the only ones not waiting for some-one else to save them from themselves. They do their own liberation, create their own employment, educate themselves, create their own wealth (without stealing, robbing raping, pillaging, fraud and other primitive methods.) TRULY AMAZING. Most amazing of all ? The boere, as Afrikaners are referred to.

  • Davearch - 2011-10-02 08:34

    Yes, why don't you start by REPLACING all these deadwood TRADE UNION leaders with WOMAN !!! There should be 50% Trade union woman leaders .. . I DONT SEE ANY !!! Does COSATU NOT TRUST WOMAN ???

      RACINGCAT - 2011-10-02 13:09

      Agreed why is the leader of Cosatu not a white woman??? HAH?

  • Ho - 2011-10-02 08:51

    Lee barashun BEE four air jukashun..!

  • RainbowZombi - 2011-10-02 09:44

    There is more than enough work for South Africans woman and men, stop importing immergrants, saying it is because of the struggle! Go check out how many woman working in local goverment and national departments speak foreign to me. Believe me I dont like them speaking foreign to me. You Cosatu shout liberation and democracy why don't you protect South Africans? It is not xenaphobia it is national interest! People support you so show support for the Nation black, white, Indian & Couloured, we come first!!!!!!

  • v3 - 2011-10-02 13:52

    Cde Bheki "forgot" to mention the role of the unions in oppressing women. It is Cosatu-affiliated teaching unions that prevent educators from being accountable, resulting in millions of women being rendered unemployable. It is Cosatu-affiliated nursing unions that prevent first-class care for patients. It is a Cosatu-affliated political party that holds the reins of power but prefers personal enrichment and looting to delivering vital services (including health and education) to women. It is a Cosatu-backed president that set an example of no-respect for women in his personal sex life and appointed a rapist-friendly judge as Chief Justice. Above all, it is Cosatu that needs workers to be infantalised so that they will rely upon Big Labour to negotiate with employers on their behalf and that promotes employment laws than discourage employment.

  • ZACommentator - 2011-10-02 21:04

    Well when your president has many wives and more girlfriends how can you expect equal rights guys? Get your old fashioned Stone Age ideas out of your heads and start behaving properly and then your women will start to feel less limited. But wait, that would mean the men actually doing some work...

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