14 May 2017
The African National Congress Women's League (ANCWL) joins all members of society in wishing all mothers a happy mothers day. Being a mother carries the utmost responsibility and we understand it to be one of the most challenging and fundamental tasks in the world - nurturing the future of our country.
It is an indeniable fact that women have played a pivotal role in nation building through their respective roles as mothers and nation builders. We look back to the initial endeavours of women who identified systems that threatened their own development and hindered livelihood in society. These women challenged designed systems such as apartheid, patriarchy and inequality. On this day we also need to recognise mothers who led society and fought for better lives for all. We also need to acknowledge the matriarchs who ensured thriving family units and thriving societies at large. Mothers continue to maintain order and are committed to facilitating prosperity within their communities.
It is unfortunate that in South Africa we have to celebrate this day in the midst of inhumane crimes against women. The number of young women deaths in the hands of their partners is of great concern . SA medical research council reported that 56% of female killings are committed by intimate partners. The unbearable legacies of colonialism and apartheid which perpetuate inequality, unemployment and poverty is much felt by mothers who are singlehandedly raising their children.
As a nation we fail appreciating the indispensable leadership role of mothers in society, patriarchy continues to rear its ugly head and it hinders women from actively participating in the economic activities of the country and in occupying strategic leadership positions in various sectors of the economy. The ANCWL calls for women leadership in and outside the ANC is not a sexiest call but a struggle against the demons of patriarchy which are hellbent in reducing women into nothing but second class citizens. It is the struggle to demand gender equality in all fronts.
The fanatics of patriarchy use tradition, religious beliefs and culture to advance their oppression against women. The patriarchists continue with the oppressive primitive tendencies of reducing women as non-entities in the country where equality is enshrined in the Constitution. Women are the majority in SA and are abused every minute and treated as second class citizens.
This day must be a day for all South Africans to reflect and assess the gains of democracy in relation to women emancipation. It must also be a day to reflect on the role of mothers in building the nation. As a nation we need to unite and celebrate mothers who built this nation through sacrifice and dedication for the greater good of our country.
All progressive men must join women in pushing back the frontiers of patriarchy which is sacrosanct in ensuring gender equality, let us all afford women the dignity they deserve.
Happy mothers day!!!!
ANCWL Secretary General