#Women’sDay: Moment of truth for South Africa

#Women’sDay: Moment of truth for South Africa

Date: August 8, 2017
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Johannesburg, 8 August: Women’s day in South Africa is celebrated amid a victory for democracy, with the decision to undertake a secret vote of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma, but a disappointing outcome as Zuma survived an eighth such vote in as many years.

Women’s Day is also being celebrated under the dark shadow of the gender violence that undermines all claims to equality, after Higher Education and Training Deputy Minister Mduduzi Manana and his friends assaulted three young women for expressing their views on the succession race in South Africa.

Gender Links (GL) calls for the immediate resignation of Manana. “It is appalling that ministers believe they can behave in this way and still remain in office,” said GL Chief Executive Officer Colleen Lowe Morna. “If Manana does not have the decency to resign, he should be fired. This is just one example of how Zuma is failing to walk the talk on all that our democracy promises us.”

As the Members of Parliament (MPs) cast their votes in a motion of No confidence on 8 August we salute the Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete for deciding on a secret ballot. This shows she stood up for democratic principles and the Constitution.

However, GL is disappointed by the outcome with 198 MPs voting No and 177 MPs voting Yes. As there are 151 opposition MPs in parliament, we salute the at least 26 members of the ruling African National Congress who voted with their conscience. Soon after his inauguration in 2009, Gender Links published a front page article in the Mail and Guardian stating that President Zuma is not fit for office based on his gender politics. The myriad of corruption charges, nepotism and cronyisms that have since been added to the list have led to a growing swell of those calling for Zuma to step down.

As we celebrate Women’s Day in 2017, we acknowledge the developments in the political arena with the announcement of three women politicians joining the African National Congress (ANC) leadership race. Lindiwe Sisulu, Baleka Mbete and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma are contenders of the highest position in the ANC and if any of them win, they could eventually contest for the country’s presidential post in 2019.

GL salutes the ANC for having consistently heeded the targets set by the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development for achieving 50% in all areas of decision-making. Women account for 42% of the South Africa Cabinet and Parliament, the highest in the SADC region. However, numbers are not enough. Politicians, man and women, must put forward issue based agendas in the run up to the 2019 elections. They must be judged on their record, and plans to deliver gender equality by 2030, especially ending GBV.

This Women’s Month on 17 August 2017, GL will be launching the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer that tracks the implementation and progress made in achieving targets of the Protocol. From 15-18 August, GL will lead The Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance in adopting a regional roadmap to attain gender equality by 2030 through the strengthening of the Alliance national networks and the thematic clusters. The meeting will also witness the launch of the Young Women’s Alliance Network. A centre piece of the Alliance meeting will be a debate on African feminism.

For more information on our programme for August go to http://genderlinks.org.za/what-we-do/justice/advocacy/womens-month-2017/. For interviews contact Colleen Lowe Morna on ceo@genderlinks.org.za  or call +27 826 516 995


One thought on “#Women’sDay: Moment of truth for South Africa”

Ps Matabane N. W says:

Please email me any information and the development.

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