YOU STRIKE A WOMAN, YOU STRIKE A ROCK
By: Bhekumndeni Kunene
President Jacob Zuma was the keynote speaker at the National Woman’s Day celebration at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi on Saturday.
This event marked exactly 58 years since more than 20 000 brave women marched to the Union Buildings, protesting against the carrying of the hated ‘dompass’.
The ceremony was graced by the presence of dignitaries from Angola, Belarus and Indonesia to mention but a few.
The Minister of Basic Education who is also the President of the ANC Women’s League, Angie Motshekga, said that those women were brave enough to march in protest against the apartheid rule instead of complaining about it, and left a legacy for the women of today.
“Those women worked in the kitchens and they were ordinary women who were not educated but they had the will to fight for their rights and leave a legacy for generations of women,” she added.
In his opening remarks, President Zuma said when a woman dies, so does the family. “This statement points to the central role that women play in society.”
He said that it was also pleasing to see the strides that have been made in realising the Women’s Charter since the dawn of freedom.
He also pleaded with all men in South Africa to make sure that the rights of women are not violated.
“Without the total liberation of women, our freedom is incomplete,” he emphasized.
He also revealed that government together with the Department of Trade and Industry will be establishing a R20 million land project to uplift informal traders of which 60% will be women. The project is set to begin this month.
Commissioner of Police, General Riah Phiyega said that women’s rights should be recognised as human rights, according to the constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
“This is a struggle for everybody- it requires the strong will of women and the strong will of men to fly the flag of equal rights high. It does not exclude men,” she added.