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Memorandum presented by African National Congress Women's League to Government

30 October 2015 Union Buildings: Pretoria

THEME: WOMEN DEFENDING THE REVOLUTION: CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF COMRADE OR TAMBO

The first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the newly elected ANCWL held on 11 September 2015, adopted a program of action (POA ) based on its 12th National Conference resolutions. One of the major reflections that the NEC made was the trajectory of the National Democratic Revolution and the centrality of women in the organisation and in defending it.

As part of the program October is President Oliver Reginald Tambo's birth month. As ANCWL we chose to celebrate this selfless life, dedicated to the struggle, by marching to defend what this giant of the struggle lived and died for.

President OR Tambo played a major role in the growth and development of the movement and its policies. He is the champion of the emancipation of women. Gender issues took centre stage within the ANC, and a gender desk was established in which he himself participated, thereby installing within the Organisation that gender issues are not women only issues. He epitomized and embodied the National Democratic Revolution and was the face of the revolution, so are all Presidents of the ANC, with President Zuma as current President. He was revered and honoured as President; this is what we have to defend throughout so that the ANC is respected, through its President. An attack on the President is an attack on the ANC, and the Revolution. The President has a right to dignity. The use of freedom of speech as disguise while showing total disrespect should not be allowed.

The ANCWL is an integral part of the ANC; its objectives, amongst others, are; - to spearhead the emancipation of women within the ANCWL and its structures and all levels of government and South African Society as a whole. To promote the all-round development of women and help in building their own confidence and interpret their needs nationally. To promote women's participation in every sector of public life and to strive for women's participation in every office. To campaign for an end to all forms of violence against women, children and other vulnerable groups. Looking back from the women's struggle we can count several milestones that women achieved that changed lives of women in general across society.

We believe that our role is not only to attain the objectives of the National Democratic Revolution, but has also a responsibility to defend the registered fruits and gains of the NDR.

We understand our role of uniting the women behind the ANC, hence we are gathered heretoday, joined hands with women organisations and allies of the movement and civil society organizations to celebrate the life of OR Tambo. This gives us an opportunity to take leadership of society using the unique skill that women only, possess within the Organisation, This year's commemoration of the life of comrade OR Tambo coincides with the 60th year of the Freedom Charter.

President JG Zuma declared this year as the year of the Freedom Charter, where we take stock of how far we have gone to champion the cause of the revolution.

The Resolutions from the 12th conference of the WL were made in the following areas;- Organizational, renewal, remobilization, reorganizing, and reaffirming WL.

  • Access to health care
  • Alcohol abuse and other substances
  • Access to education
  • Social security and transformation- including gender-based violence, on witchcraft, police and justice, violence against women and children
  • Radical socio-economic transformation for women Gender based violence Women and poverty - issued of land, social grants, job-creation, access to employment,
  • Women and governance Women and economy- driving radical socio economic transformation International relations

The ANCWL must tackle the issue of sexism in both its objective and subjective elements. The objective manifestation of sexism expresses itself in discrimination against women in socio-economic sphere, resulting in the gross discrimination against women so evident in all aspects of our national life. This results in women being worst victims of the inequalities of our racist legacy.

The struggle against sexism must therefore address the same questions we confront in the struggle against racism. These include poverty and underdevelopment, equitable access to wealth and income, equal rights at the work place, access to the professions, management and skills, and so on.

We therefore declare:

  • Unity and cohesion of the organisation as a critical foundation for the advancement of the goals of the National Democratic Revolution and emancipation of women from patriarchy and all other forms of oppression and discrimination.
  • Launch a campaign on moral regeneration of society and embrace all including traditional healers.
  • Pull her Down syndrome must fall
  • President Jacob Zuma just as President OR Tambo embodies the National Democratic Revolution is the face of our revolution. An attack on the President is an attack on the revolution. We therefore, commit ourselves with the ANC Women's League and all structures of the ANC to safe guard the true character, principles and values and traditions of the movement as espoused by the founding fathers of the ANC. Hence we say "Hands Off Our President"
  • That the solutions on gender based violence are dependent on solutions such as education, socialism of both men and women, safe & secure neighbourhood as well as accessible and responsive justice system that goes beyond policing.
  • We want review of domestic violence legislation,
  • review of parole boards,
  • harsher sentences for women and children abusers,
  • Additional to the above solutions.
  • Patriarchy is enemy to women advancement.
  • A strong ANC WL will ensure a strong ANC.
  • Women demand space to lead,
  • Women Are Ready for A Woman President.
  • Education for young women is key to economic empowerment.
  • Our support for #FeesMustFall was based on us as mothers, majority of affected being women, acknowledging our non-implementation of ANC policy of free quality education.
  • Appreciating the bravery of our young people and supporting them we say,
  • The interim intervention must include scrapping of application and registration fees for 2016.
  • Private sector must show patriotism and contribute to education for they are also beneficiaries of the skills from these Institutions of Higher Learning.
  • 30% set asides for women across public sector and its entities as well as private sector.
  • Women cannot continue to be faces of poverty.
  • Side by side, women United, we must defend the revolution.

FORWARD WITH RADICAL TRANSFORMATION OF WOMEN, FORWARD!!!

FORWARD TO A UNITED, NON-SEXIST, NON-RACIAL, DEMOCRATIC SOUTH AFRICA

Issued by
African National Congress Womens League