Address Delivered by the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga, MP, at the SADTU Women in Leadership Event held at the Lookout Hill Restaurant, Khayelitsha, Cape Town, 9 August 2017
to providing free sanitary pads. Many South Africans who are campaigning on this issue are doing very well, and must be supported, but they are not involved in women’s health. Assistance with sanitary pads is very helpful and we should take full advantage if the fact that the matter is on the table and should focus the nation to the real issues about women's wellbeing.
1. Their reproductive health, access to safe contraception
2. Mental health
3. Non-violence against women and protection about rape including men's socialization around women's bodies
Just last week, we witnessed women lawyers protesting against what they call favouritism in the awarding of legal work. So the next big struggle for women is access to economic opportunities.
But the more prominent matter is the issue of political power. As we know political power in any society is scarce hence highly contested. Some among us once accused me of decampaigning for a woman president. I know I was once accused of having said women were not ready to lead. That is simply untrue. What happened was that as the ANCWL we had a press conference where we were outlining our 2014 elections campaign. A journalist wanted to know if we would campaign for a woman President, my answer was no, we were going to campaign for the ANC & by implication the ANC Presidential candidate because at that stage the choice had already been made. If the ANC was to have a woman president this was to have been done first in the ANC first.
My point here, to master power we have to master processes and ensure that we know and understand the rules of the game, otherwise we will fight around non-issues and miss on the big picture. The ANCWL is engaged in the spirited campaign for a woman's President at the right time. Lessons, they should not expect sympathy but must put forward a compelling case and be ready for a fight. We should always be ready for a fight because power is a very serious matter. It is about country and people’s lives
Some key points to take home
- Don't make a mistake and allow yourself not to succeed in your education.
- Empowering women against violence against women. Constant fear of being attacked. Socialization of our young people.
- Forming a women's forum and starting with basic women needs. A problem spoken about is half solved. Empowerment is a journey and not a destination.
I thank you.
Written By: Fisher Julie
Date Posted: 8/10/2017
Number of Views: 463
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