27/04/2011 President Jacob Zuma at the Union Building during the freedom day celebration. Picture : Sizwe Ndingane

Cape Town -

Militarism to resolve conflicts in countries facing political and social battles is causing global instability, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

Addressing the Socialist International (SI) congress in Cape Town, the president spoke out strongly against the world's most powerful nations dictating how other countries should run their affairs.

“This undermines possibilities for lasting solutions that are in the interest of the populations facing conflicts,” Zuma told the grouping of leftist parties.

“We have seen this in Africa, with Libya being a recent case. It has happened in other parts of the globe as well.”

Zuma said the SI needed to become a more effective association to prevent unilateral decisions from being made by the world's politically powerful.

The president also raised gender issues with regard to globalisation and privatisation.

“Firstly, across the globe, women are entering the work forces in larger numbers. However, their participation tends to be in the informal and outsourced sectors and in the caring professions.”

This, he said aggravated what he called the feminisation of poverty, saying 70 percent of the world's poor were women.

“These (informal) sectors are characterised by shift work, labour flexibility and therefore job insecurity, low wages and poor working conditions and benefits,” Zuma said.

“Thus, we see the majority of women swelling the ranks of the working poor, in addition to the unpaid and subsistence work they provide in their families and communities.”

The problems facing the youth in finding jobs, globally also featured in Zuma's address.

“With regard to the impact of globalisation on the youth, the information and communication revolution has opened a whole new exciting world to young people.”

Zuma said one in three of those aged between 18 and 24 were jobless.

“Youth unemployment is therefore a global challenge that needs to be responded to effectively by addressing the fundamental contradictions in the capitalist system.”

Zuma urged his audience to emerge with radical resolutions at the end of Friday's congress. - Sapa