Johannesburg - The ANC Women's League is calling for a party election manifesto with more women-orientated pillars, its president Angie Motshekga said on Monday.
“Our fundamental demand is that South Africa must be safe for women everywhere and at all times,” she told reporters in Johannesburg.
“Cultural practices and traditions that promote the violation of women's rights must be abolished and these include, among others, ukuthwala, ukungena, and virginity testing.”
Ukuthwala is the practice of abducting girls and forcing them into marriage, often with the consent of their parents. Ukungena is where a widowed woman becomes her brother-in-law's wife.
Motshekga was briefing the media about the ANCWL national election workshop, which was held at St George's Hotel near Pretoria at the weekend.
She said women's rights had to be understood in the context of human rights, and the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community needed to be supported and protected.
The ANCWL wanted the ANC's manifesto to commit to greater economic inclusion of women and comprehensive allocation of resources to help fight gender-based violence.
It also wanted a revised broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) policy, also with a commitment to gender equality, Motshekga said.
She acknowledged the improvement in access to justice through the Sexual Offences Courts, but expected similar improvements in maintenance courts.
“The ANCWL has full confidence in the ANC to deliver against these aspirations of the women of South Africa,” Motshekga said.
“The significant successes made in promoting gender quality and women's empowerment are a clear testament to the commitment of the ANC to the struggle for a non-sexist and inclusive society.”
She said the ANCWL's election campaign programme would include listening to, engaging and mobilising women from all sectors in society to register to vote in next year's election.