Debate On National Women's Day
 Remarks By Mrs Connie Zikalala MP on the Theme
"Working Together for Equal Opportunities
and Progress for All Women"

 

Parliament: Wednesday, 11 August 2010

 

 

Honourable Speaker:

 

National Women's day must always be the day upon which the women of South Africa, the women who are the very rose petals of our society, are honoured and thanked for the untold selfless work and sacrifices that they have endured to make this great nation what it is today.

 

We in the IFP believe that women are truly, and for the most part the unsung heroines of our nation's history - the mothers, the carers, the wives, the daughters and the grandmothers, in addition to being, in some cases, breadwinners and in most cases, contributors to household income. They are truly the most precious asset of any nation and as such they should be treasured and accorded the respect that they deserve.

 

Yet unfortunately the reality remains far from the ideal.

 

Many women still live and raise families in abject poverty. They run households with no water, no sewage systems and no electricity. These women, especially the sole breadwinners and the single parent mothers, must be identified and assisted by the State in their fight to provide a better future for their children.

 

Women remain victims of domestic violence and abuse. The Domestic Violence Act has failed them due to the poor implementation of the Act and lack of knowledge by Police Officers in assisting them.

 

Women's groups around the country are also revealing how apathetic South Africans can be towards domestic violence within their communities. Neighbours often turn a blind eye to women being abused by their partners, as they reason that this is none of their business. This culture of quiet acceptance is wrong and must change. Children must be educated early on as to what is acceptable behaviour in this regard. Our sons must be taught that real men don't abuse women.

 

Teenage pregnancy is another issue that must be addressed by the Department of Education and social welfare. An unplanned pregnancy is not in any way desirable for a young woman who is still at school. Once again we must educate our children so that situations like this are minimized, as in most cases both the mother and the child suffer unnecessarily; the mother having to leave school or get a sub-standard matric and the baby being born into an unsuitable environment. 

 

Human trafficking and the forced prostitution of women is yet another sign of our decaying global culture. We in South Africa must show the world that this is totally unacceptable in our country and I therefore urge our Ministers of Police and Justice to deal most resolutely with perpetrators of this hideous crime.

 

In ending I would like to say that we should RESPECT A WOMAN BECAUSE....

 

You can feel her INNOCENCE in the form of a daughter

 

You can feel her DEDICATION in the form of a wife

 

You can feel her DIVINITY in the form of a mother

 

You can feel her BLESSING in the form of a grandmother

 

SHE IS A WOMAN AND SHE IS LIFE, RESPECT HER!

 

I thank you.

 

Contact: Mrs Connie Zikalala MP, 083 282 8384.