Use National Freedom to Fight Patriarchy – FEDUSA
27 April 2018
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) today joins millions of our compatriots fellow in celebrating National Freedom Day, the outcome of decades of struggle against apartheid by gallant and brave generations of South Africans many of whom paid the ultimate price so we can all enjoy the democracy we are living in today.
National Freedom Day is an opportune time for us as a nation to pause and reflect on the road travelled so far and the challenges that surely lay ahead. As we do so we can tap into the wise words of the founding father of our nation, Nelson Mandela, who said to South Africa – quoting Confucius – that: “ Our Greatest Glory Lies Not in Never Falling but in Picking Ourselves Up Each Time We Do”; and addressing young people specifically, Mandela told them that: “Education is the Strongest Weapon with Which You Can Change the World”.
Also as we celebrate the myriad of achievements by our democratic government since 27 April 1994, in areas such as the provision of a decent quantum of free water to poor households; basic health and housing to millions of indigent South Africans; and the opening of doors of learning to our young people as envisioned in the Freedom Charter and as Madiba would have wished, we cannot do better than remind ourselves of the visionary words of an African revolutionary Amilcar Cabral who said: “Tell No Lies and Claim No Victories”.
Our nation has also just laid to rest our beloved Mother of the Nation Nomzano Winnie Madikizela –Mandela. FEDUSA believes it is time to confront and stay the demon of patriarchy that is still ravaging our country; as shown by the horrendous statistics of gender based violence; high unemployment rates that are skewed against women, especially women of colour; lower wages for women compared to men, for work of equal value; a scourge that Ma Winnie fought against all her life and was a prominent victim of, especially in post –apartheid South Africa to the end of her days.
FEDUSA sincerely hopes that as we mark this important milestone in our democratic journey, and cast our eyes to the future, especially towards next year’s General Election, our political formations should implement all the good things that they promise in their Election Manifestos, in order to take our country forward, instead of just using such instruments to be voted into public office.
FEDUSA is the largest politically non-aligned trade union federation in South Africa and represents a diverse membership from a variety of sectors in industry. See www.fedusa.org.za for more information.
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