ANC Women’s League can no longer claim to represent women

2012-11-13 16:39
Palesa Lebitse
As enthusiastic as I might be to join the ANC, I am likely to be just another number – another woman with no place in the ruling party.

The ANC Women’s League song of gender equality will remain a lullaby because it constantly and blatantly contradicts its own historical positions with its lack of political will.

According to Troy Martens, spokesperson of the league, the league has managed to make many major dents in our deep-seated patriarchy and among other gains was the resolution that came out of the Polokwane conference of the ANC that speaks to 50% gender parity across all ANC structures.
The composition of the NEC tells a different story.

Furthermore, its nomination list for the ANC top six leadership positions speaks a foreign language.

Martens further claims that the Women’s League is a strategic organisation.

But what strategies have they adopted to ensure that women are represented politically and in society in general?

Limited opportunities in the economy, gender discrimination, low levels of skills and education are among the challenges the women of South Africa face.

Women bear the brunt of inequality and the poverty that rips through the heart of the Republic.
The league can no longer claim to represent the women of this country.

Patronage politics has taken centre stage and the leaders of the league have lowered themselves to mere spectators and cheerleaders.

It is not news that patriarchy operates in most sectors of the economy and in our society, but it does not warrant any woman to accept and endorse it.

What role has the league played to eradicate patriarchal tendencies within the ANC and how has it propelled development within its own ranks?

It’s contradictory to speak against patriarchy while nominating a man who leads a very patriarchal lifestyle for president. All for the sake of “strategic unity”.

To nominate a man to occupy the highest office for any other reason besides his capabilities is wrong.

It is deceitful.

Today we hear from the league that while polygamy is oppressive towards women, we should accept it because it is practised globally.

The disposition of the league paints a picture of weakness that not only reflects badly on it but on all women in general.

The current leadership threatens the rich history of the league and undermines the inroads that have been made for acknowledgment, independence and the development of women.

Where are the Madikizelas, the Josephs and the Ngoyis of today?