“I refuse to think that the next Lilian Ngoyi cannot be found among the young women who raise their fists in the street showing that they are confidently ‘behind’ the Party.”
Let’s face it, as women we have just one month to be glorified and be celebrated amongst the best social contributors. As August comes to an end, all I can wish for is that it concludes with a lot of the problems we’re faced with. Amongst the lot that we could look at, I figured maybe we draw focus to the political side of things. After all it’s that one day in 1956 that forced the nation and all political spheres to look at us differently; our voices were heard not just in song but in the way we fought for what we believed in. Shouldn’t that have been the day we stamped our feet comfortably in the political ground where we are given a better position to lead? Instead we’re still not the movement but rather a party within a party. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the ANC Women’s League as a force that is in existence but I get to wonder if utterances such as “the ANCWL ‘behind’ so and so” don’t make women within the party feel obligated to be ‘behind’ on decision making? I admit, there are a lot of ways to look at my ‘behind’ interpretation but I can’t help but feel that it’s such expectations about women within the party that make them followers instead of being part of an active and influential group of leaders within the movement.
The other day I decided to take part in the #CR17 poll. I initially thought of it as an amusement but little did I know that answering the questions would spark an interest in the campaign. I finally got to respond “yes” to questions that recognized the absence of women recognition in the party, work place and the nation as a whole. As a young woman who believes I have so much to offer to this movement, I wonder how old do I have to be to be seen as mature enough to be part of the force that moves within the Congress. I refuse to think that the next Lilian Ngoyi cannot be found among the young women who raise their fists in the street showing that they are confidently “behind” the Party. Can we not agree already that it is time we apply the policies in place to advance women to be active so that we can get that 100% Yes when asked “are we doing enough to promote gender equality in the ANC?” I believe woman are ready to talk, we need the Party to be willing to listen. I could be wrong or even fooled that CR17 is ready to listen; if the polls on women’s emancipation are anything to go by, we have started to iron out a few issues. I can only hope that this will be the year that our recognition as influential women doesn’t burn out as August bows out. We are ready, Cyril Ramaphosa are you ready?
I’m Khanyisile “Mam’Mthunzi” Hleza from a small township in the East Rand, Duduza. My political views are simply nurtured by the ashes of fighters like Maki Skosana, they mean no harm but are all about the truth as I see it. As a young black woman who believes in the conscious movement, I know we have a long way to go – but fortunately my feet are willing to travel as far as possible to get us to a South Africa that’s free for all.
*This blog has been published in its original format as submitted to the CR17 website. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Cyril Ramaphosa or the CR17 campaign.
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