YOUNG women were urged to free themselves from the bondage of a patriarchal society during a Women’s Month dialogue commemorating the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March at the Gugulethu Sports Complex.
Speaking at the event organised by Ilitha Labantu, under the theme “Passing the baton to young women”, yesterday, former Gugulethu proportional representation councillor candidate Vuyokazi Malasu and Ilitha Labantu founder Mandisa Monakali told young women they still live in a patriarchal society and that it will take women to change that.
“Women did not support me when I stood to be the councillor because they do not believe women can rule. They accused me of being selected because I did A, B and C in return for favours. Let us be supportive to each other as women,” Malasu said.
Monakali said there was a need to establish a leadership academy for young women where patriarchy will be discussed.
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete said section 1 of the constitution states that SA is a non-sexist country.
She said the dialogue was an opportunity for women to discuss issues affecting them and it was essential for older people like her to hand over the baton to young women.
“Today’s women face many challenges, more than us in the past. These are not God-given challenges. Let us fight them together as women. You were not brought to this earth to suffer as women but to live equally as men,” Mbete said.
She said she hoped to inaugurate young women at the event into positions of responsibility and leadership. She urged them to stand up against abuse of any form.
“Speak out when you are abused. Women have had this tendency of accepting abuse and keeping quiet. By keeping quiet you are committing suicide. You are not alone, so please cough up,” she said.
Ilitha Labantu’s Ella Mangisa said the event was organised to create a platform for young women to understand women’s past contribution in the Struggle and to discuss their future.
“We all share common challenges as women. That is why it is important to gather under one roof and debate them,” she said.