8 March 2013
The ANC Women’s League wishes the women of South Africa, Africa and the world a happy international women’s day.
This International Women’s day of 2013 is the year we as the ANCWL are celebrating 100 years of the Women’s struggle since the first women’s march organised by ma Charlotte Maxeke in 1913.
The struggle of our women is far from over and while the issues faced by young South African women today are very different from the struggles of ma Maxeke’s day we need to stay united in our goal to ensure the total emancipation of women across the globe. It is young women that need to take up the baton. Our forbearers and great women of our past laid the foundation for young women to build on. The potential of women is endless and the sky is the limit.
It is with great sadness however that this day happens to fall on what many are acknowledging as “black Friday” in South Africa. Every Friday South African’s are encouraged to wear black in a campaign highlighting the prevalence of rape, sexual violence and women abuse.
It has been a traumatic few months for the women of South Africa where we have seen violence against women put under the spot light after an array of extremely disturbing incidents of rape and murder. There is a public sentiment of activism against rape and violence against women that has never been experienced in our country before. The people of South Africa are finally putting their foot down and heeding the call of the ANC Women’s League and saying enough is enough. It is amongst this shared pain and outrage that we can find a positive. We can see a concerted effort from government to tackle the issues faced by women with a renewed vigour and a sense that the time for action is now. The President of the country, President Jacob Zuma, has shared in the pain and outrage felt in the country and has committed his ANC led government to action on every possible front. We have seen school children pledging that they will be a generation of South African’s who will abide by the laws of the country and not commit or tolerate rape. All of these are encouraging and an indication that government is taking the call of the ANC Women’s League and caring, law abiding South African’s seriously.
At a meeting of the former liberations movements women’s sections of the SADC region earlier this week it was clear that all of these organisations are on the same page as the ANCWL. This meeting took a resolution and committed their organisations to tackle the scourge of gender based violence and rape across the region.
We have seen the women of the world stand up and are encouraged by the women and men of India who also refused to sit idly by while the scourge of rape continued to rip through the moral fibre of their country.
As a united sisterhood of the world we call on every citizen of the international community to forward the message of respect and uphold the values of human rights at all costs. Women’s rights are human rights. Enough is enough. Stop rape now!
The ANC Women’s League calls on you to take on the responsibility of protecting your neighbour. If we all realise that we can make a difference by looking out for our fellow citizens, committing to respect each and every person and their rights we can create the South Africa we envisioned in 1994 and once again inspire the world to be a shining example of humanity.
Troy Martens (on behalf of the ANCWL)
ANC Women’s League Head of Communications
Contact: 078 120 9880