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Women “in a new struggle” against gender discrimination – Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said South African women are involved “in a new struggle against gender discrimination,” thereby informing…

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday said South African women are involved “in a new struggle against gender discrimination,” thereby informing the country to “promoting the rights of women and girls in all aspects of life, including the economy.”Speaking virtually during Women’s Day commemorations, Ramaphosa said “the women of today are engaged in a new struggle. It is a struggle for equal rights, dignity, economic liberation and freedom from violence.” 

Unlike the struggle of 65 years ago when 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings (seat of government) in Pretoria to protest against discriminatory pass laws, Ramaphosa said the country needed such brave women to face current challenges.

“We pay tribute to today’s generation of women, just as women of 1956, who fought against the injustices of their time,” Ramaphosa said.

He added: “We celebrate the resolve of these women to determine their own destiny. At the same time, we pay tribute to today’s generation of women just as women of 1956 who fought against the injustices of their time.”

2021 has been declared a year of Charlotte Mannye Maxeke, one of the women leaders, in an effort to encourage women to follow in her footsteps.

Maxeke fought for women’s rights in South Africa, including against the apartheid government’s pass laws.

The ruling African National Congress said South Africa has a duty to accelerate the eradication of gender discrimination and to promote the rights of women and girls in all aspects of life, including the economy.

In its Women’s Day message, the governing party has lamented the fact that women still bore a disproportionate burden of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

The ruling party also highlighted the gender pay gap, gender-based violence, discrimination against women’s access to finance and assets as challenges that continued to rob women of the opportunity to become productive citizens, and condemned them to a life of perpetual fear and discrimination.

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