President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa is made up of women who lead from the front across all sectors. Addressing thousands of women at the National Women’s Day Commemoration at Richmond in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, he also congratulates KwaZulu-Natal Premier nominee Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
She was announced as the province’s preferred candidate following the resignation of Sihle Zikalala last week.
Ramaphosa says women are more than capable to lead just like the pioneers of the 1956 Women’s march. He hailed women as champions, saying that many are now in leading positions in various fields – notably women in parliament, the judiciary and sports.
“In South Africa today, women are champions. Like iBanyana Banyana not Bafana Bafana. They brought home their first Women’s World Cup champion trophy and they are women. Just like the pioneer of the 1956 women’s march they were role models. The young women and the girls of today have no shortage of women.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the National Women’s Day address:
Ramaphosa says the African National Congress is still reeling from losing its deputy secretary general, Jessie Duarte. He describes her as a model activist.
“She was a deputy secretary general and she did all the work. She assisted the organization in various ways, she was a staunch activist for many years. She became an activist at a very young age, working with the likes of Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and many others including Sophie Debruyn. She displayed good leadership qualities.”
‘More still needs to be done’
President Ramaphosa says more still needs to be done to advance women in South Africa. He highlights some of the gains made in the advancement of women, in the fields of education and politics.
Ramaphosa also referred to the recent appointment of Supreme Court of Appeal president Mandisa Maya as the Deputy Chief Justice.
“The struggle of the women of our country is not done yet, we still need to uplift the women of our country to a level where they are equal to men. We have made a lot of progress, many of those who are registered are female students, close to half of our members of parliament are now female, and we are now about to have a Deputy Chief Justice, who is a female.”
As part of the National Women’s Day commemoration, several projects aimed at creating jobs for women are being showcased at the Silahla Sports Grounds in Richmond.
Products vary from traditional beadwork and weaving to vegetables. Maggie Chiborise is part of Sowbuddies SA in Richmond. Her organisation aims to help about 200 women to start their own businesses over the next 18 months.
This is what Chiborise and others have to say about creating economic opportunities for women.
Chiborise says, “Our mothers have been doing business but they didn’t know that it is business. So right now the challenge is of integrating what they are doing and what is called business acumen by the global world. So right now it’s certificate.”
Another one adds, “I think most of the challenges we have as crafters are the market. You make lots of things and you find there’s no market for them. That’s why we go out just trying to sell our product. But it’s not enough.”
Ramaphosa says government is finalising plans for a gender-based violence and femicide summit in November. The President has appealed to everyone to come together to stop violence against women …
“The killing and abuse of women in South Africa is an important issue to the government. We even refer to it as the second biggest pandemic aside from the Coronavirus pandemic that’s more widespread. Every man in SA should join the fight against GBV, government has also come up with legislation to ensure that those who commit these horrific acts, face the full might of the law.”