As the African National Congress’ Women’s League 13th national conference kicks off in Johannesburg, the party’s Secretary-General Fikile Mbalula has called for a united a strong league to emerge.
Following previous disbandment and political upheaval, Mbalula said this was the conference where the women of the organisation united in their fight against gender equality, even among the organisation itself.
He urged the delegates to make their voices heard in all struggles of the country, and to come to the defence of women who face attack in tertiary institutions, boardrooms and other sectors of society.
“Don’t always fight for men to lead the ANC.
“The Women’s League must be in those struggles where our revolution is being attacked. The Women’s League must be the first to defend [UNISA VC Puleng] LenkaBula and UCT [Mamokgethi] Phakeng are vandalised and attacked. Where are you,” he asked the delegates.
He further called for the ANCWL to adapt and modernise, and be strong and lead the fight against gender oppression in South Africa.
Mbalula said he did not want to see an ANCWL “preoccupied” with itself, but rather on the front-line of these battles.
He also encouraged the women to stand united with each other and not behave like “hooligans” if they found the person they wanted not in the structure’s leadership.
“Even in our differences in our leadership, we still need each other.There is nothing wrong to differ. It is healthy to differ but we must not hate each other,” he said.
The ANCWL is taking place in Nasrec, south of Johannesburg this weekend. About 3,100 delegates from branches across the country were expected to attend the women’s league conference.