Time to transcend the 1956 narrative on women: Public Protector

The time has arrived for the country to go beyond the 1956 narrative on women who challenged wrongdoing and kept the flame of freedom going during the height of apartheid and celebrate the heroines amongst us who are quietly doing the right thing, Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela said on Tuesday

She was addressing the University of KwaZulu-Natal's women month event in Durban.

The Public Protector said she was not saying the heroines of the yester year should not be celebrated but there was a need to also celebrate, support and emulate today's women who are quietly doing the right thing.

Adv. Madonsela encouraged all women entrusted with public power to use it to make a difference as it came with responsibilities.

She said being placed in a position of power was not just to add numbers, colour or glamour but to ensure that the status quo was changed regardless of the sector.

The Public Protector heaped praises on the former Speaker of Parliament Dr Frene Ginwala, saying she was more than just a speaker of Parliament as she and others who went to Parliament made sure that the Women’s Charter was passed.

She credited Dr Ginwala and her peers for not just bringing class and glamour to Parliament but change and laws that are talked about today.

Adv. Madonsela called on all women in positions of power to ask themselves how they have influenced change or if they just to add numbers, colour or glamour.

Challenging her generation, Adv. Madonsela questioned if things had changed in Parliament post the Ginwala era.

"I am not in a position to pass judgement, as I am part of this generation," Adv Madonsela said.

She encouraged women to do what was right and not focus on who was running the country or if they were being noticed arguing women like Charlotte Maxeke, Olive Schreiner, Priscilla Jana and others heroines changed the status quo not because of money or positions but because they wanted to alleviate human suffering.

The Public Protector said it was concerning that under their watch, 15 years later since the passing of the Equality Act not much had been done in implementing the provisions of the Act especially, chapter 5.

She said it was worrying that the impact assessment of the Act was not prioritised and reasons provided were not convincing.

This, the Public Protector said was against the Constitutional promise of an equal society where every persons quality of life will be improved and their full potential freed.

Adv. Madonsela said the better implementation of this Act could help prevent some of the problems currently facing the country.

For more information contact:

Ms Kgalalelo Masibi
Tel: 012 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399
Email: kgalalelom@pprotect.org

Published Date: 
Wednesday, August 26, 2015