We need strong female leaders.
History attest to the fact that the roles played by women in any revolutionary struggle can’t be discounted and to do so would be foolish. This includes the scores of women ruthlessly killed in wars foisted on them by men and those who stood up against the barbaric system of apartheid and colonialism with its calamitous rule.
I want to dedicate this to those women and children killed in Palestine by the barbaric acts of the Israeli forces, despite their desperate call for harmony, peace and freedom. The wanton crisis in Gaza is inhumane and barbaric and it is for this reason that South Africa cannot be neutral in whatever way.
The controversial statement by former president of Iran to wipe Israel from the world map was justified, precisely because Israel enjoys the protection of imperial power, the United States of America. The US is not genuinely concerned about the crisis, evident in the fact that it called for a ceasefire while continuing to say Israel has a right to defend itself, a glaring political hypocrisy of the US government.
History affirms the critical role of women in South African politics. Iran’s 1979 revolution and the triumph of the October Revolution of 1917, just to mention a few. However, we need to aver that post 1994; much must still be done in the struggle for gender equality. This is not only about the representation of women in positions of power and institutions, although this is important.
The emancipation of women will not be complete without defending the women exploited at the point of production and economic activity. This include those susceptible to abuse by authority, be it in public or corporate. Women should not be viewed as sexual objects, but as human beings with the capacity to perform duties assigned.
We need to inoculate our society from the terrible disease in our institutions of men in authority who expect women to exchange sexual favours for employment.
Women should refuse to be exploited by masters of grand larceny and rather risk marginalization, humiliation and isolation.
Our young girls have a challenge to focus more on education and skills that will take our society forward without celebrating the debauched lifestyle of the rich and glamorous. Leaders ought to be genuine about this regardless who does it.
This is not a romantic appeal for leaders to me immaculate, but a genuine allegorical expression. It is therefore central to accentuate the perspective of three interrelated contradictions of our society: class, gender and race.
Each problem receiving no more emphasis that the others.
We need to define the ideological needs of this phase in the context of heightened gender struggle going forward. This goes along with the need to increase the number of young female political activist and have them emulate Dora Tarma, Thenjiwe Mtintsho and many others.
We need women of substance, whose discipline will never be questionable, with ideological and political clarity, women whose loyalty cannot be bought. We need this caliber of women cadres in the SACP, ANC COSATU and the entire movement women of systematic independent thinking, reliable and consistent on principle.
This top phalanx, high caliber of women cadres should not be enamoured or favoured with money, but the wellbeing of the toiling masses and transformation of the society. All of us, as cadres of the revolutionary movement whose existence goes beyond our lifespan, are obliged to create deliberately and consciously this pool of critical mass, so as others fall to the side, others sell out, others get demoralized and others die, surely we shall be in a good position to say confidently the revolution is secured and guarded against all forms of grisly schemes against it from outside or inside.