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ANC Media Statement on Women`s Day

7 August 2009

In commemorating August 9 - National Women`s Day - the African National Congress (ANC) pays tribute to countless unsung heroines of our struggle for their contribution in the liberation of South Africa.

Women`s Day is an important day in the Women`s Month calendar. It is a time to salute women for the role they have played and to reflect on challenges women continue to face. As we celebrate, let us think of women farm workers who earn a living as seasonal employees. For them, their main concern is to earn a wage to be able to put food on the table for their families. It is the plight and hardship of rural women that those elected to Parliament and provincial legislatures should continue to highlight. We should ensure that issues that daily impact on women, are kept on the national agenda.

Despite the many challenges women still face, we can look back with pride at the gains the country has thus far achieved, especially in the area of gender equality. The fact that women leaders are found in labour, Government and business, demonstrates how we have embraced women empowerment.

The ANC has been in the forefront of many struggles that have ensured that the emancipation of women is not merely a dream but a reality. Although much has been done to recognise and empower South African women, we share the view that the struggle for women emancipation remains an incomplete project if choices women have to make, are primarily influenced by their economic status.

The creation of the Ministry for Women, Children and the Disabled was a conscious decision by the ANC. It is a clear message that the ANC-led Government is committed to improve the lives of the working class and the poor, where the triple oppression of women reigns unabated. Women, children and those with disabilities are still at the receiving end of societal oppression.

The ANC decision to fast track rural infrastructure development has shifted the focus of women emancipation - from the debate on parity, which within the structures of the ANC we have won - to a debate about realities that women continue to face on a daily basis.

We have come a long way, achieved much, but much more still has to be done.

Issued by:
Jessie Duarte
National Spokesperson
African National Congress

Brian Sokutu 071 671 6899
Ishmael Mnisi 082 333 5550