Women empowerment key to achieving prosperous, united nation: Public Protector

If we are to succeed in building an inclusive, prosperous and a united nation, we must empower and support mothers, particularly single mothers to optimise their contribution towards societal development, Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela said on Wednesday.

Addressing the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Mother’s Day event in Pretoria, Adv. Madonsela said empowered mothers remained the backbones of households, communities and nations.

The Public Protector drew from research studies that found that nations that invested in their girls and mothers, proved to be successful as they later became the building blocks of such communities.

She said as mothers, women tend to do what they have to do, including giving away their own lives for the benefit of their children, families and the communities.

Adv. Madonsela told the members of the SANDF that there were parallels between them and mothers as both positions demanded noble characteristics such as selflessness, courage, compassion and wisdom.

Adv. Madonsela provided five examples of mothers whom she said were driven by values such as selflessness, courage, compassion and wisdom to raise successful children and communities.

The examples she gave were from President Nelson Mandela’s mother, Nosekeni, iconic Basotho regent Queen Manthotisi, campaigner against British cruelty against Afrikaner prisoners, Emily Hobhouse And biblical prophet and Judge, Deborah.

She praised members of the SANDF, for their role in defending the nation saying they were driven by among others the love they had for the nation and the society they lived in.

Public Protector Madonsela said these were the characteristics of many mothers who would put their own lives at stake for the benefit of the nation.

Paying tribute to the role played by women in bringing up their families, Adv. Madonsela said it was known that behind every great leader in society there was a mother-figure driven by characteristics of courage, compassion, selflessness and wisdom.

She told a story of Pres Mandela’s upbringing where he was given away by her mother after the death of his father. Adv. Madonsela said Mama Nosekeni was driven by compassion for her child and faith that others would treat him well and wisdom to choose what she considered best for him.

The Public Protector told SANDF members who attended the event that for the country to realise a constitutionally promised improved quality of life for all and a society where every persons full potential is freed, it needed more acts of selflessness, courage, compassion and wisdom from mothers and the rest of the society.

Adv. Madonsela said these acts would come from women who would not look the other way when there was a problem and say whoever caused it must solve it.

She said the women and mothers in the country could draw a valuable lesson from the lives of Mama Nosekeni and others who always believed that they had to solve the problem that must be solved while asking for a better dispensation

The Public Protector encouraged women to play their part, saying this would be key to the country’s quest of becoming a democracy envisioned in the Constitution.

Asking for support for women, the Public Protector said the society must help to relieve the social burden of their shoulders. She said some of the social burden women and mothers continued to face included single parenthood, looking after the sick without support or as volunteers in public institutions such as hospitals and clinics.

The Public Protector said for the constitutional promise to be realised all persons who occupied positions of trust, particularly public power and control over public resources needed the characteristics of selflessness, courage, compassion and wisdom to discharge their responsibilities.

For more information contact:

Ms Kgalalelo Masibi
Spokesperson: Public Protector South Africa
Public Protector South Africa
012 366 7066
079 507 0399
Email: kgalalelom@pprotect.org

Public Protector South Africa

Published Date: 
Thursday, May 19, 2016