With just over a few days left before the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) hosts its elective conference in Gauteng, senior leaders within the structure have called for an urgent intervention that will ensure women’s participation in the economy is recognised.
Speaking to IOL, ANC general manager Fébé Potgieter said the upcoming conference would play a vital role in placing women’s agenda on the forefront.
“It is time for the ANC Women’s League to look ahead and find ways that will ensure economic and social relief for the many women in the country,” she said.
Potgieter highlighted that research had previously shown that women were still lagging behind in terms of gender representation.
She also said women were not included in some of the policies formulated, despite being affected by the same policies.
One such instance, Potgieter said, is a study that showed that the ability for women to access electricity in female-headed households was still far too low.
“This is an anomaly because at the end of the day the large users of electricity are women. They are the ones that need it the most. So this is why we say such issues should be looked into,” she said.
Potgieter said the upcoming conference had to also provide a clear direction for young women and future generations.
“This is why we say the ANC Women’s League must look forward, and I have no doubt that this conference will address these issues,” she said.
Potgieter also lauded the late ANC deputy secretary and acting secretary-general Jessie Duarte, saying that she made it her mission to advocate for women’s rights.
“She was not afraid to speak out, but she also had an incredible ability to listen. She was also an intellectual and was passionate about rebuilding the ANC. It’s a legacy that she left and we owe it to her to forge ahead with that legacy,” she said.
Meanwhile, the ANCWL has committed itself to finally hosting the conference this weekend between July 21-23.
This follows a number of postponements.
Last week, the women’s league was forced to postpone the conference by a week over disputes relating to the credentials of delegates.
At the time, ANCWL's national task team convener Baleka Mbete said the decision to delay the conference by a week was after the structure met with ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula over their state of readiness, adding that the decision taken was also to ensure a seamless running of the conference.