2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY NOKUZOLA MNDENDE, MP
UDM NATIONAL CHAIRPERSON, WOMEN

Since South Africa's democratisation in 1994 many institutions has been put in place and legislation enacted to address the plight of women. The time is, however, long overdue to realise these good intentions on paper into reality, making a difference in the lives of the millions of women in South Africa. 

It is especially women in rural areas who are not informed or educated in what their rights and privileges are. Government is failing its duty when it does not bring to life these very good intentions. Women serving in Cabinet, and as members of Parliament on a quota basis, are not a reflection of the real state of the status of women in SA. It remains mere window dressing. 

Until we have brought the message to the mothers and daughters in the most remote areas of our country, we cannot claim that the lives of women have improved. 

It is the women of South Africa that form our next generation's mindset. It is they who will teach the next generation to be colour blind, it is they who will give us a generation respecting fellow human beings, it is them that will form a generation who can dream and aspire to become the best they can be. 

The daughters of Africa will lead the Children of Africa through the African Renaissance and in making this the African Century. For women to play the leading role that they ought to play, they need to be empowered. Job creation should focus on creating entrepreneurial opportunities for the women in the areas where they live and care for their families. It should not be necessary for women to live away from their families in order to make a living. 

The UDM commends the SAPS for the seriousness with which they address the issue of crime committed against women and children and the enthusiasm with which they approach the Domestic Violence Act. We call on Government and Civil Society to take this process forward and to ensure that the other role-players involved play their vital part. The Departments of Justice, Welfare and Health need to indicate their plans in support of this Act.

 International Women's Day is not only about the rights and privileges of Women: The rights of Women and their position in society impacts directly on the quality of life of a nation. 

Enquiries:
Nokuzola Mndende, MP
07 March 2000