Twenty-three years into democracy, South Africa is still engulfed by profound challenges of all forms of injustices against women on the basis of gender, race and class. As an active participant in the struggles to end patriarchal dominance, the South African Students’ Congress wishes to seize this opportune moment to declare its zero tolerance to any act of belittlement and violence against women of our country. Today the 9th of August 2017 marks precisely sixty-one years the heroic anti-apartheid pass laws struggle that which the women of our country has bravely led with no fear of detention, solitary confinements and possible shootings.
As we celebrate this very important month in our national calendar, we must equally take pride as the students’ organisation to announce the rise in the number of black graduates of which majority are women, however, we must state that much more have to be done in the academia so as to allow female at the helm of institutional leadership, office of the vice chancellors in particular. In the same vein, we must unreservedly acknowledge and commend women of South Africa for their immense and remarkable contribution in leadership, governance, business, judiciary and all strategic sectors of our society. indeed their excellence in areas of election and deployment has helped in building confidence that women are equally capable of discharging their responsibilities just like their male counterparts if given a chance.
Organised under the theme “you strike a woman, you strike a rock” women of all hues emanating from all four corners of our country assembled in the Union Buildings to submit an unambiguous memorandum against the racist pass laws which in the main were aimed at limiting the movement of blacks from the length and breadth of their country. As we heighten our struggles for free quality education, we must draw lessons from these resilient, fearless, focused and determined women of 1956 who against the might of the oppressor has registered the victories we celebrate today.
We are guided by their relentless spirit of this generation of women, that today we declare war against the abduction of women both from and outside the confines of our country. The abduction of women for whatever reason is a solemn crime against humanity and should meet the wrath and full might of the law.
As we conclude, it is our conviction as the Students’ organisation that, central to this year’s women month celebrations should be more platforms aimed at capacitating women and a more radical campaign against the abuse of women. This we do, on account of the accumulative incidents of violence against women which cuts-across the country. Concurrently, we shall with no fail, make a thorough assessment of what is the root cause of all these gender violence as well as to assess how far we have come in addressing the triple challenges confronting women in general and blacks in particular.
As we celebrate this important month of women, we pay tribute to our fallen heroines who passed on in the line of duty Babalwa Ntabeni, Liyanda Maphanga, Charlotte Maxeke, Lilian Ngoyi, Adelaide Tambo, Albertina Sisulu, Josephine Moshobane, Ruth First, Helen Joseph. May their souls rest in eternal peace.
SASCO Deputy President