The ANC rather protect their own than protect the rights of women and children

By Jane Sithole MPL, DA Spokesperson on Women, Youth, Children and Persons with Disabilities:

The following motion without notice was delivered by DA spokesperson on Women, Youth, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Jane Sithole MPL, during a sitting at Ehlanzeni District Council Chambers today.

This was out-rightly defeated by the ANC. It has become clear that the ruling party is hell bent on protecting their own rather than to protect and promote the rights of women and children.

Honourable Speaker.

I rise to move a motion without notice on behalf of the Democratic Alliance, noting that:

The 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children started on 25 November 2016.

Further noting that a 33-year-old man, an African National Congress’s (ANC) director of corporate services in the Tokologo local municipality appeared in court on 2 December.

He allegedly pushed his 26-year-old wife against the wall where she hit her head and then collapsed. He then put her body in the boot of his car and drove to his parents’ home in Winburg, Free State where he spent the weekend at his parents’ home while the body was still in the car.

On Sunday morning, he decided to drive his wife to a dumping side and burnt the body, where he was spotted by two homeless men who alerted the police.

I move that this house:

Condemns the behavior of the 33 year old man, who is a director of corporate services, and all violence against women and children in totality.

I further move that this house sends its heartfelt condolences to the family of the victim who lost her life at the hands of her attacker.

I so move.

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Letter to the editor: 16 Days of Activism merely lip service

By Ann McDonnell, MPL, Member of the DA Caucus in the KZN Legislature:

AS our country marks 16 days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children it is shocking to note that the multi-party Women’s Caucus led by the ANC in the KZN Legislature has not met once since the new term began some 18 months ago.

What would have been the first meeting was scheduled to take place last week.  It was cancelled at the eleventh hour for reasons that remain unknown to the DA.

This is hardly the sign of a government that is serious about the issues facing women in our province.

The DA has therefore called for an investigation into this non-performing Caucus and for a feedback to be provided in the provincial legislature.

Public officer bearers have a duty to be serious about the many challenges that face women.

The 16 Days of Activism campaign cannot be mere lip service.

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Gauteng govt. fails to empower young people and women

By Ashor Sarupen MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson Social Development:

According to the Department of Social Development’s second quarter report for the 2014/15 financial year, the department failed to deliver on two key deliverables – the most vulnerable youth and women in the province.

This report was presented before the Portfolio Committee on Social Development in the Legislature, yesterday.

Income generating programmes to empower young people and women through work placement and skills improvement programmes have failed significantly.

The women empowerment programme targeted 8109 beneficiaries, however thus far only 31% (2528) of women were assisted with this programme, this despite the budget being spent.

The department fared dismally in its Welfare to Work Programme, which aims at assisting young people. The targeted participants stood at 3600 yet a measly 1405 (39%) of young people participated.

The reasons in both cases for not meeting targets, were due to “conceptualising” issues. Officials in the department have put the cart before the horse in running and budgeting for programmes that it has no idea if it will work.

It baffles me how the department, thus far have spent R1.9 billion, this despite not meeting key targets.

I urge the new MEC for Social Development, Molebatsi Bopape, to urgently intervene and get these derailed programmes on track.

It is unfair that young people and women in the province are cheated out of opportunities to uplift themselves within their respective communities.

The MEC must crack the whip and ensure targets are met before the end of the financial year.

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Women are pillars in our society

This speech was delivered by Andrew Louw, Leader in the Northern Cape, During the launch of the Democratic Alliance Women’s Network (DAWN) in Upington on Saturday 26 September 2015.

MEMBERS OF THE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE

MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

ALL COUNCILLORS PRESENT

MOST IMPORTANTLY OUR BEAUTIFUL DAWN MEMBERS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN GOODMORNING, GOEIE MORE, DUMELANG!!!

 

 

It is indeed a privilege and honour to address you all fellow democrats this morning, on this important and historic day for us as a party in the Northern Cape.

 

Today is a very important day for the party as it serves as the launch of constituting our key party structure, the Democratic Alliance Women’s Network.

 

We can never dispute the role women play in our society as pillars not only in our individual households but in communities as a whole.

 

Dit is waar as mense se: As jy wil iets sê, vra ‘n man; maar as jy wil iets gedoen moet word, dan vra jy ‘n vrou.

 

The women are the doers; they are ready to get the job at hand done without much hesitation, and today with this event we want to recognize and appreciate the role of our women.

 

We want to appreciate the mothers who wake up early in the morning to prepare the children for the day.

 

We want to appreciate the mothers who catch the early bus to work.

 

We want to appreciate the mothers who keep the household intact during the day.

 

We want to appreciate the mothers who make sure food is ready in the evening for everyone to enjoy. Wat is ‘n huis sonder ‘n moeder!!!

 

Moreover we want to appreciate the women who run daycare centres in communities and soup kitchens to feed the hungry.

 

Just like the women of 1956 who made the historic anti-pass laws march to then Prime Minister of South Africa JG Strijdom, you are zealous and very courageous and for that we take our off  hats to honour you.

 

The women of 1956 broke that stereotype that women belong in the kitchen. Women had once again shown that the label that women are politically incompetent and immature, tied to the home, was outdated and inaccurate.

 

Today we see women at the fore front of development, be it in politics, government and churches. Yes there is still a long road to total women emancipation.

 

However we have seen good women rise and lead amongst us. Our former Federal Leader Helen Zille led this organisation for successful eight years. She took our party from a mere opposition player to a party of government. In the 2014 elections, we won 4 million votes.

 

Our interim DAWN leader right here in the province, my colleague Safiyia Stanfley has been a face for many women in this province, through her role as Interim DAWN leader as well as our spokesperson on gender and women in the legislature.

 

She headed our operations in the province with dedication before her election to serve in the provincial legislature.

 

Today our operations once again are run by a level-headed woman in the person of Dalmaine Christians. We still see more young women rising in our ranks and we remain optismistic about the future, especially the up-coming local government elections.

 

Ons wil meer voue raadslede sien!!

 

But colleagues and fellow democrats we should not shy away from the truth that many women are still at the sidelines of economic development in our land.

 

While South Africa’s general unemployment is estimated at 25, 7%, it rises up to 50% amongst African women. About 41% of these women live in the rural areas where economic prospects are limited.

 

South African women still face serious challenges in realising their full potential.

 

Issues of unemployment, poverty, inequality and violence have increased in the country and affects women harshly.

 

Even amongst the employed women, the majority is found in low paying jobs such as domestic work; tellers in the retail sector; or shop-floor workers in the textile sector that has been shedding jobs over the past years.

 

A number of women are in the informal sector of our economy, with little prospects of economic advancement.

 

The severe under-representation of women in various economic sectors and in decision making positions in the private sector demonstrates the need for urgent intervention to improve the status of women in our society.

 

However the day is coming that under a DA government women empowerment will be high on the list to advance our country.  Full support will be given to women-run small businesses; bursaries for young girls will be a priority. Opportunities will be expanded to empower and develop women. That change colleagues is needed and is needed now.

 

Fellow democrats that change is coming!

 

Change that will see our courageous women live up to their full potential.

 

Change that brings freedom.

 

Change that brings fairness.

 

Change that brings opportunity.

 

To my fellow democrats who will be elected to serve in the various leadership positions for DAWN I wish you all the best. I pledge on behalf of the entire party leadership in the province we will give you 100% support as you drive and champion women’s issues in the Northern Cape.

 

I thank you.

 

Dankie

 

Kea leboga!!!

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Give women their rightful place in families and society

By Ann McDonnell, MPL, Member of the DA Caucus in the KZN Legislature:

During today’s Women’s Day debate I will confine myself to three points – the Freedom women Deserve, Fairness is true Equality and Opportunity is only limited by women’s dreams.

Freedom women Deserve;

This month we remember the 1956 march of very brave women to demand the end of the wicked pass laws.  I wonder what they would say if they could see us now?

I will always give credit where it is due and we have indeed done really well in the political sphere in terms of representation in political structures.  Iconic woman such as Helen Suzman, Helen Zille, Lindiwe Mazibuko and Sandra Botha come to mind.

Where we lack though is in the protection of our mothers and daughters. As government that is our mandate. The murder of an albino girl last week in northern Zululand is so barbaric it must send chills down the spines of all of us in South Africa.

Abuse, both physically and emotional continues and seems to have grown in South Africa – both in the supposed safety of their homes and in the streets– making our beautiful country, very insecure for women.   This applies to women of all ages – from young girls to gogos.

 

Fairness is true equality;

Here I am basing my concern on the importance of family – whatever that may look like in your context.   Visit any state institutions on any day and you will witness young and mature mothers and grandmothers queuing for hours, sometimes days, for social welfare, health and home affairs services for themselves and their children.

It sounds trite to state that two people make a baby – why then does the burden mainly fall on only one of these people?

A Human Sciences Research council report from 2006 gives the scary stats that 75% of abandoned children are abandoned by their father.   Their description of abandonment is not keeping contact or providing support.

A Sowetan newspaper in 2011 headlined that there are “Nine million kids with no Dads” – a figure gained from research into family breakdown by South African Institute of Race Relations.

The research found that the absence of fathers when children grow up is one of the several factors which are associated with poor educational outcomes, anti-social behaviour, delinquency and disrupted employment later in life

After much lobbying this year by the DA, maintenance defaulters will now risk credit judgement.   At last – mind you it is pathetic to place the importance of paying maintenance for a child’s future at the same level as furniture, cars, and appliances payments.   The burden is still largely carried by mothers and grandmothers

 

Opportunity for a woman or girl child only to be limited by her dreams;

Our women deserve education from ECD to tertiary and government and private sector employment – no quotas, just empowerment.  Our much vaunted freedom won in 1994 is not worth a thing if our women are still trapped by historical, familial and some outdated traditional practises.

School girl pregnancies limit the future of our daughters, making them drop out of school and lose the impetus of their education.

South Africa needs to quantify the cost of the National Woman’s Ministry and its value in combating the scourge of the social ills befalling our daughters.  We need to see if there is a better way of investing in the safety of vulnerable girls and women.

Surely it makes more sense to invest scarce resources on the ground, accessible to vulnerable women, rather than in a Ministry whose performance is at best hidden and at worst a mess?

This Ministry and any gender initiatives the KZN legislature puts in place, must be relevant to the people it serves, accessible to the poor and breaking the chains binding our women.

Currently the National department is spending 64% of its budget on salaries and overspends on travel and admin – not much left for programmes, shelters or special courts for victims of violence and abuse.  Not a good story!

No ministry has ever been able to change people’s behaviour – this is a job for visionary leaders and goes beyond politics.

In spite of women making up 54% of the population, they face the same triple challenge of poverty unemployment and inequality.  Add to this the challenge of disease and caring for the sick in their families and there is a quadruple challenge for women.

This has been hugely negative.

 

On a more positive note – KZN has a unique opportunity right now.  Our challenges of power supply and empowerment of women could be the basis of a wonderful economic opportunity – the manufacture and installation of solar panels for electricity generation.

We have abundant sunshine, and if these plants are situated in rural areas owned and run by women they will be given their rightful place in society.  A woman powered green economy initiative, I am sure we could get funding for this, and the technology is available.

 

To wrap up – let us give our women their rightful place in families and society in KZN and South Africa.

Let them taste the Freedom they deserve.

Let them enjoy the Fairness of equality.

Give them the Opportunity to achieve their dreams

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Real women’s empowerment still elusive

By Leona Kleynhans, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature:

The below speech was delivered by Leona Kleynhans (MPL) during a debate on Women’s Day at a sitting of the Free State Provincial Legislature today.

Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi!

Honourable Speaker,

Women form the foundation of any society, yet in many societies around the world, including that of our own here in South Africa, women bear the brunt of the violence of patriarchy.

Patriarchy is evident in all aspects of our social and economic life. Despite the legislative framework established since 1994 that seeks to advance and protect women, the lived reality for millions of women in South Africa is that of social marginalisation, gender-based violence and the hardship of poverty and economic deprivation.

Honourable Speaker,

It is still the woman and the girl-child that suffers first. Even as we speak here today, with all the legislative protection afforded to women, it is the woman in her house, her community, her workplace, that has to endure the systemic violence against them.

There is much to celebrate about the resilient spirit of women.

The power of women can no longer be suppressed or ignored. We see how the power and dedication of women break new frontiers ranging from the political, to the social and economic spheres.

Women can no longer be defined by society, women are increasingly defining themselves.

Women’s Day and Women’s Month give us an opportunity to reflect on the transformation that has taken place in the lives of women since 1956. It is an opportunity for us, both men and women, to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women.

But it must also be a moment for reflection. There is still much that needs to be done to emancipate society from the oppression of patriarchy.

Honourable Speaker,

Let us first honour those women who made this transformation possible. Let us honour the 20 000 South African women, black and white, who stood up as one, in 1956, to march to the Union Buildings against the hated pass laws.

Here was a women’s movement, led by dedicated and brave women like Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophie Williams.

Let us also acknowledge the persistence and dedication of the brave women under the banner of the Black Sash. Formed in 1955 to protest the removal of coloured and mixed race persons from the voters’ roll, the Black Sash, a largely white women’s organisation, became a perpetual thorn in the side of the Apartheid State.

The bravery of and dedication to democracy, freedom, and equality espoused by the Black Sash founders, Jean Sinclair, Ruth Foley, Elizabeth McLaren, Tertia Pybus, Jean Bosazza, and Helen Newton-Thompson set the path for many other women marginalised by Apartheid’s oppressive racial and patriarchal policies.

The Apartheid State vexed these women, they threatened them, some were banned, others arrested. Throughout the oppression of Apartheid, women became its easiest victims. We remember that it was mostly women and children who died in Langa, and in Sharpeville, and in Boipatong.

Many women paid with their lives. We honour them, we can never forget, but we also know that even today, the struggle continues.

Then there is Helen Suzman, she too endured years of ridicule and disdain for being a woman who dared to stick to the principles of equality, freedom and justice.

Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi!

But it is not only women here at home that have fought bravely against oppression.

Let us also honour those women in Africa who stood up when the call came.

From Kenya, Wangirai Maathai, was the first African woman awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. She was a dedicated environmental activist born into a rural and patriarchal society, yet she fought against the destruction of the African environment by careless governments and unscrupulous big corporations.

Despite the many violent attempts by these corporations to silence her, Wangirai remained resolute in her struggle. She mobilised rural women in Africa to take charge and together they’ve planted over 51 million trees. This forest of a legacy lives on today in memory of Wangirai Maathai. The struggle continues.

We should also acknowledge women leaders like Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson. She stood up when the call came to lead her country into peace and prosperity after it was devastated by civil war. She was brave enough to tackle the general lawlessness inherent in the corrupt State which had defined Liberia for decades. She began a process that sought to create a better life for all of Liberia’s people.

Honourable Speaker,

A young girl in Pakistan was shot in the head for advocating education of the girl child. Even as a child her call came to take a stand against the violence of a patriarchal society. Malala Yousafzai was that child. Her determination and her will to live saw her survive that gunshot and she became an inspiration to millions of girl children, not only in Pakistan, but in the entire world. She is the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel peace Prize.

Malala serves as an inspiration, even as several death sentences have been issued against her and her family by religious fundamentalists. She remains resolute and her struggle continues.

All of these women serve as our inspiration and must be recognised for opening the doors so that others may follow. No longer can women be silenced.

Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi!

Honourable Speaker,

But we dare not risk becoming complacent and think that the battle is won. Patriarchy is alive and well and thriving.

Today we see more women in boardrooms, we see women in government, more and more women are represented publicly and this may lead us to believe that women everywhere have gained true equality.

There is a serious difference between the cosmetic representivity of women in the echelons of society and the true empowerment of women.

Today, as we speak, it is a fact that women are still often paid far less than men for the same job. The principle of equal pay for equal work remains elusive for many.

In some places very young girls are still being sold off to marry old men.

It is women that are still violently abused by their partners or family members.

As I have highlighted here today, great women like Lillian Ngoyi, Jean Sinclair, Wangirai Maathai and Malala Yousafzai all had to endure some form of violence against their person for being brave enough to call, not for special rights and privileges, no, they only called for equality.

For many others, they were not so lucky, Anti-Apartheid stalwart Ruth First paid for her bravery with her life. The Apartheid State killed her with a parcel bomb. She was killed because she dared to demand justice, freedom and equality, for all.

Honourable Speaker,

Girls are still trafficked into prostitution. Women are still targeted to serve as drug mules. In some societies women are still expected to stay at home to act as a servant to their husbands.

Honourable Speaker,

Women today also bear the brunt of what is known as the double burden. While women are now able to access employment, it is still considered the woman’s chief responsibility to care for children, the elderly and to do domestic work such a laundry and cooking. On average, employed women will spend six hours more doing unpaid domestic work compared to her male partner.

Honourable Speaker,

We are pleased that the ANC has buckled under the pressure of the DA campaign to have Clause 11 reinstated in the draft Maintenance Amendment Bill. Women are far too often left abandoned by their male partners to fend for themselves and their children. Female headed household have to struggle to make ends meet because the fathers of their children refuse to pay child maintenance.

This clause allows for the black-listing of parents who fail to comply with their child maintenance obligations. A finding by a court that a parent is in arrears will enable the black-listing, as Clause 11 currently stands. Why the ANC objected to this clause is anyone’s guess.

Honourable Speaker,

While we honour those fearless women who paved the way for our achievements, let us take up their banner and continue the fight for true equality wherever discrimination against women still exists.

Let us ensure that every girl child receives quality education, and receives the opportunities to fully determine her own course in life, and decide in what way she will make her contribution to society.

Let us put party politics aside and acknowledge here today that:

  • Structural sexism hinders women’s empowerment
  • Societal attitudes of patriarchy hinder the empowerment of women.
  • Rape and abuse of women hinder women’s empowerment.
  • Fathers who do not pay maintenance hinder women’s empowerment.
  • And alcohol and drug abuse in our families hinders women’s empowerment.

Honourable Speaker,

The true emancipation of women still needs to be achieved. The struggle is not yet won. As women leaders we have a responsibility to stand firm and speak up where we encounter the oppression of patriarchy.

The DA believes in the values of Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity and it is armed with these values that we move our cause towards the full empowerment of women.

Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi!

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DA condemns gang rape of mother and her three daughters

By Chris Hattingh, DA Constituency Head, Matlosana, Klerksdorp:

The Democratic Alliance in Klerksdorp is shocked by the heinous gang raping of a 50-year-old mother and her three daughters in Jouberton on Monday. The youngest victim is only six years old.

Furthermore these rapes, by three perpetrators between 18 and 22 years old, took place in the presence of two male siblings who were contained with knives.

This may be regarded as an indicator of a growing and widespread moral regression in our society.

The Moral Regeneration initiative championed by Mandela and launched in 1997, seems to be forgotten. The so-called Moral Regeneration Month, July went by mostly unnoticed.

The DA will pursue the revitalization of the Moral Regeneration initiative in the North West with a specific focus on high crime areas. Just to refer to moral regeneration in the State of the Province Address and at similar events without being prepared to walk the talk is failing our communities.

The DA however congratulates the SAPS for the swift apprehension of the alleged rapists.

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Minister Plato takes Women’s Month safety outreach to Napier and Eersterivier

Media Advisory:

This weekend, Friday 21 August and Saturday 22 August 2015, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, will continue the Department of Community Safety’s Women’s Month outreach events in Napier and Eersterivier respectively.

Women have historically help build resilient communities. In honouring women this year Minister Plato and the Department of Community Safety will focus on the theme of “Building resilient Families” when engaging with the public.

For the month of August, Minister Plato will be engaging different communities throughout the province to inform them of relevant safety information and invite them to honour women from the different areas, to highlight women’s safety and to pledge men’s responsibilities in the fight against violence against women.

There will be an opportunity for photographs and interviews.

ALL MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND

 

Details:          Napier / Bredasdorp Women’s Month Safety Outreach

Date:              Friday, 21 August 2015

Time:               09:30 – 13:00

Venue:           Napier Community Hall, Sarel Cilliers Street (Main Road), Napier.

 

Details:          Eersterivier Women’s Month Safety Outreach

Date:              Saturday, 22 August 2015

Time:               09:30 – 13:00

Venue:           Kleinvlei Civic Centre, corner Gannas Street & Kool Avenue, Kleinvlei, Cape Town

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DA Mpumalanga welcomes the launch of centres for abused women

By Jane Sithole MPL, DA Spokesperson on Women and Children:

It is a step in the right direction and encouraging to see that the plight for women in need of assistance when abused is getting the attention in deserves from the department of Social Development. The DA would like to commend the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu for launching the Hlayisani White Door Centre of Hope in Mpumalanga.

According to the department, these centres will serve as temporary shelters which provide accommodation and other basic needs such as food, clothing as well as counselling and psychosocial support to abused women. The centres will further protect women from secondary abuse.

Social Development MEC, Nomsa Mtshweni must ensure that all the necessary support structures from her department are in place. The necessary tools to assist these women would be available and the staff compliment would be sufficient and properly qualified to deal with issues of abuse and related matter.

Women are mostly the backbone of families, and families are the core unit around which individuals and children prosper. We need to encourage women to speak out through various platforms about abuse and to instill back confidence within themselves.

It is hard to gather accurate statistical data in South Africa because domestic violence is rarely reported. Government must reinforce its drive to educate women about their rights and what services are at their disposal. The Protection Order that derives from the Domestic Violence Act is currently the biggest assistance to women who are in abusive relationships, however how many women are aware of this?

The silence of our mothers, sisters and daughters must be broken.

 

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Minister Plato takes Women’s Month safety outreach to Hout Bay

Media Advisory:

Today, Monday 17 August 2015, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, will continue the Department of Community Safety’s Women’s Month outreach events in Hout Bay.

Women have historically help build resilient communities. In honouring women this year Minister Plato and the Department of Community Safety will focus on the theme of “Building resilient Families” when engaging with the public.

During the month of August, Minister Plato will be engaging different communities throughout the province and invite them to honour women from the different areas, to highlight women’s safety and to pledge men’s responsibilities in the fight against violence against women.

There will be an opportunity for photographs and interviews.

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