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The ANCWL Press Statement on the 60th Anniversary of the Women`s March & Electioneering Program by the Secretary General Cde Meokgo Matuba

The ANCWL Press Statement on the 60th Anniversary of the Women`s March & Electioneering Program by the Secretary General Cde Meokgo Matuba

9 June 2016

The President, Bathabile-Dlamini
The Deputy-President, Comrade Sisi Ntombela
The Treasurer-General, Cde Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
Provincial Secretaries & Deputy Provincial Secretaries
Members of the media
Good Morning,

The African National Congress Women`s League has embarked on extensive preparations in the last year for the 60th anniversary celebrations of the women`s march. This year also happens at a crucial time when the country will hold its municipal elections on August 3.

As the ANCWL we also understand that it is women in the main who are in the majority who are members of our movement. We should not disregard the important role that our women play in our politics and in society as a whole. Since our conference in August, the new leadership of the ANCWL has tried to mobilise women across South Africa to understand that it is in being active in the ANCWL that women`s issues can be addressed because the ANC is the leader of society.

In December 2015, the ANCWL launched the Charlotte Maxeke Volunteers Brigade to celebrate and keep alive the history of the first mother of the ANCWL. We want to celebrate all our women and the struggles of women since 1918 when the Bantu Women`s League was formed. The year 2016 marks the 98 years of women struggles which take us back to the initial endeavours of women who identified systems that threatened their own development and hindered livelihood in society.

We are then calling upon all women to celebrate with the ANCWL and the ANC led government as we mark the powerful march of 1956

As we celebrate the rich history of the women`s struggles, we cannot by any means think we have achieved. We have not. It is mainly women who still bear the brunt of an unequal, patriachal and poor society. We have to be concerned as the ANCWL when we hear about the continued violence against women and children. We have to stand with our young women in newsrooms like ENCA when they are dictated to about their dress sense.

We should be standing as women with the community of Vhuwani where children as we sit here are not in school because they have no school to go to.

We remain steadfast as the ANCWL that women representation as we go to the elections is at top of the agenda of the ANC. We are still calling on 50/50 representation across ALL leadership positions. We remain concerned with the infighting for positions and loss of life within our organisation and we women to know that as the ANCWL we are talking to the ANC.

As part of the 60 year anniversary celebrations, we will embark on the following programmes that intend to mobilise for an overwhelming victory of the ANC during the upcoming municipal elections

On Round-Table Discussions

The ANCWL will commence the programme with the Round-Table discussions between women in various sectors and ANC women deployees. The ANC through its gender policies has deployed women into positions of power in various organs of the state. The women deployees are to represent the needs and aspirations of women. Women all around South Africa are rarely afforded an opportunity to engage with women leaders and the ANCWL aims at bridging the gap between women ministers, deputy ministers, premiers, mayors with the women they serve from all works of life.

On the 24th June 2016, the discussions will commence eHlanzeni in the Mpumalanga Province and the program subsequently resumes in other province and the details are as follows: in Free State on the June 29th; in Kwazulu-Natal on the 1st of July; Nelson Mandela Bay on the 5th July; Western Cape on the 23rd July and the North West Province also on the 23rd July.

On the Intergenerational Dialogues "Her-Story Told"

The Intergenerational dialogues are an ANCWL Young Women`s Desk Program where women veterans share their stories of the struggle with young women. The program unpacks stories of women of the struggle and their role as freedom fighters. The concept is merely to create an intergenerational discourse where heroines of the struggle share their stories with the younger generation to inspire & educate on the history of women in the political context. The current generation of women ought to be aware & understand their history in order for them to understand the current status of women and where they are headed.

The first dialogue will take place in Lower-South Coast in Kwa-Zulu Natal on the 6th July and the next dialogue will be in the Nelson Mandela Metro, Eastern Cape on the 16th of July.

On the Memorial Lectures

The evening of the 23rd July, the ANCWL will then host a Memorial Lecture to celebrate the life of Dr Ruth Mompati in Vryberg in North West Province. The lecture will be aimed at educating society about the role Mme Ruth has played in the liberation struggle, the life she lived leading women within the ANC in the underground movement and celebrating her contribution towards the emancipation of women after the unbanning.

On the Gravesite Visit

The ANCWL together with families of ANC women stalwarts will visit the grave sites of our women heroines. The gravesite visit will be a program to get society to know where our women stalwarts are buried. The ANCWL will clean the graves and decorate with fresh flowers to ensure that our women heroines are not abandoned; they are remembered and the places of eternal rest are in good state. The program will commence in the month of June through to August in every corner of the country.

On the ANCWL Fashion Program

The ANCWL will kick-start the women`s month with a fashion show where various established and upcoming designers create fashion lines using the ANCWL colours and themes. Each designer will design a line inspired by a WL President or select an era where a certain President has led to inspire the line. The program is underpinned on encouraging & celebrating African beauty.

On the Women Poetry & Exhibition

The ANCWL will be hosting a poetry session and an exhibition to showcase the women and events that led us to the democracy we enjoy today. The exhibition will be themed on "South Africa Saluting its Women Legends", which is a promotion to effect social change and paradigm shifts around the recognition and acknowledgement of the role women played in the fight for liberation of this country.

The gist of the event is mainly on taking the participants through the 98 years of women struggles in visuals and in a clear cut display of artifacts used that tell the woman`s story through to political victory. The exhibition will showcase different eras of women from the matriarchs who led communities in a quest to change the face of their communities. The exhibition will honour women beyond political activism and showcase what women have achieved in the patriarchal society.

This program will advocate a message of women who have led society into prosperity. Poetry has played a significant role in communicating key messages throughout the political struggle; it is by far variable means of celebrating the legends of women empowerment.

On the Masupatsela Program

The ANCWL has identified the need to educate the children on the history of our country. The current school curriculum has proven not to be a reliable tool in educating children on South African history. Currently textbooks narrate history on the white minorities` perspective which is hypocritical and lacks in facts.

The ANCWL is hosting a day program targeted at children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program will be an educational funfair activity which will encompass historic education packaged into games and activities. The program will also cover information on safety to better equip children on protective measures against violence on children.

On the 60 Years Anniversary Coffee Table Book

The ANCWL will compile a 60th Woman`s March Anniversary Coffee Table book which will feature 60 Phenomenal South African Women. The book will feature different generations of women who challenged an oppressive system in pursuit of better conditions for others. These phenomenal women have made an impact that has or will benefit generations to come. The book will profile women from the generation of Charlotte Maxeke, through to the generation of women with in the 98 Years of Women`s Struggles.

On the Women in Prison Program

The ANCWL will embark on a program to reach out to women in prisons. The program will focus on challenges faced by women in prison from violent abuse, being a mother in prison and strained family relations. The program will strive to assist women in prison with mending relations with their families and to resolve their challenges in prison. All women will be encouraged to bring a gift for the women prisoners especially toiletries and sanitary towels.

Music, Poetry & Dance

The main celebration of the 60 years of the Women`s March Anniversary will be held in August. We expect over 120 000 people to fill up the venue for the main 60 years celebration activities from the afternoon to the evening of the day. The ANCWL acknowledges the role played by artists in the fight for liberation and will utilise arts to honour those artists and encourage the current generation of artists to honour our struggle heroines. An ANC women musical, dance & poetry ensemble will end the days programme. All provinces will participate on the production.

Elections Trail

On Elections

We will be conducting an electioneering program throughout the country with Blitz, public meetings and sectoral meetings. The objective is to ensure the ANC emerges victorious in the next upcoming elections. The program is as follows:

  • Northern Cape, 20th June until the 25th June
  • Mpumalanga, 20th June until the 25th June
  • Free State, 26th June until the 1st July
  • Eastern Cape, 9th July until 18th July
  • Kwa-Zulu Natal 28th June until 7th July
  • Limpopo, 9th until the 18th July
  • Western Cape, 20th until the 26th July
  • Gauteng,2nd until the 9th July
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