Women’s hard work undeniable: Motlanthe

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Former President Kgalema Motlanthe says the question of whether women work as hard as men has long been settled and attributes this to women getting it right the first time.

Speaking during a gathering of South African women in celebration of International Women’s History Month in Houghton, Johannesburg, Motlanthe says even in the struggle women were always in the forefront but they were not given the credit for all they did.

“So as early as in 1913 hundreds of women marched into Bloemfontein, they would tolerate no more, they would take a stand against the much-hated pass system for women. This was a time in history which saw women tearing up their residential permits, organising petitions, marching and singing through towns, and brawling with the police. Thus the government’s to extend the passbook to African women was defeated right there.”

Women challenges

Women in South Africa have been part of the celebrations of Women’s History Month as women around the world still have challenges.

Women empowerment

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa has lauded the government for its commitment to the empowerment of women in all spheres of government. He says this has gone a long way toward building a society of equals.

Speaking at the commemoration of 2024 Human Rights Day in Sharpeville earlier on Thursday, Ramaphosa said the country has made tremendous progress in ensuring women are occupying serious positions in the public sector.

“If we were to build a society of equals, we need to bridge the divide between men and women. Already, we have made tremendous progress. In South Africa today, girls learn alongside boys. Last year, more girls passed matric and got more distinctions than their male counterparts. There are currently more female students enrolled in our universities and colleges than males. Close to half of MPs and our judges and magistrates are women. More than 60 percent of our public servants are women.”