De Bruyn was speaking at the Glenstantia Library in Garsfontein as part of the commemoration of Women’s Month.
The chairperson of the Glenstantia Library User Interest Group, Theresa Solomon, said they invited community members from Eersterust and surrounding areas to commemorate Women’s Month. She said De Bruyn was included because she was instrumental in the Struggle for women’s liberation in the country.
De Bruyn said that although the advancement of women had taken enormous strides, much more support was needed from the powers that be and the government.
Too many women had become comfortable with the saying “we have come a long way and done well”, so much so that it had become a mantra, she said.
While the sacrifices made by previous generations had to be acknowledged, it was time to do better and be willing to start walking the extra mile as everyone now lived in a different world and different country.
De Bruyn said that in celebrating the month of women, she was reminded not just of her compatriots, but by the fact that women worked hard, side by side with their men, for the liberation of the country.
“The women we are celebrating this month did not exclude men but worked with them, all for the liberation of our people. Women did the things men did, such as being guerrillas underground, trained as MK soldiers and carried ammunition and guns, facing the enemy; and that is what is being recognised.”
“A lot of women don’t appreciate the fact that the freedom they are enjoying now is thanks to those women who lay in the trenches fighting for them without expecting anything in return.”
De Bruyn said what was worrying was that the youth of today did not want to take a page out of their experiences, shutting the older generation out, claiming it was now their time.
However, she said she was proud women in South Africa had gained what they fought for in 1956 when they marched to the Union Buildings against apartheid laws. “Those women didn’t say ‘what’s in it for me?’ They didn’t think there was any entitlement. They did it because it was the right thing to do and was for the future of South Africa and all its people.”