The statues of Rahima Moosa, Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi and Sophie de Bruyn at the Living Women's Monument on Lillian Ngoyi Square in Pretoria. Picture: Phill Magakoe
The statues of Rahima Moosa, Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi and Sophie de Bruyn at the Living Women's Monument on Lillian Ngoyi Square in Pretoria. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Parliament’s presiding officers salute the bravery and resilience of SA women

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Aug 9, 2021

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Cape Town - In commemoration of Women’s Day, Parliament’s presiding officers, National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairperson Amos Masondo and acting National Assembly Speaker Lechesa Tsenoli saluted the bravery and resilience of women both in the history and the current development in the country.

The presiding officers paid tribute to the heroism of over 20 000 women of all races who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to reject the introduction and use of pass-laws to repress and subjugate peace-loving people of South Africa in general and the black women in particular, on 9 August 1956.

“During the year of celebrating the life and times of Charlotte Maxeke who was born 150 years ago, the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the women’s march, must be an opportunity for an honest reflection on progress made in realising the ideals of the women forebears of the freedom and democracy we enjoy today,” said the presiding officers.

“In marking this indelible mark and the legacy of the 1956 sheroes, we cannot miss remembering Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Adelaide Tambo, Albertina Sisulu, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and many more who have departed, as well as Ms Sophie Debruyn and other unsung sheroes whose light keeps shining on us and gracing our lives with wisdom and love today,” added the presiding officers.

They said it is the bravery and leadership of these women that shaped the thoughts, ideals and work as Parliament since 1994.

According to Masondo and Tsenoli, the women representation of Parliament has reached over 46%, registering the second-best in Africa behind Rwanda and 10th best in the world - where women representation in over 190 Parliaments averages 23% in terms of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s report.

“The 50:50 ratio of women-to-men representation in Parliament is within reach and we trust, through pledges and commitments of all role players, including political parties, these targets will be reached and sustained.”

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Political Bureau

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