Fight patriarchy in the ANC: Bathabile Dlamini

Bathabile Dlamini says young women in the ANC should prepare to push for no fewer than three posts in the top six at the national conference in 2022.
Bathabile Dlamini says young women in the ANC should prepare to push for no fewer than three posts in the top six at the national conference in 2022.
Image: THE TIMES

ANC Women's League president Bathabile Dlamini has called on young women to challenge patriarchy within the ANC ranks — and in society at large.

This is the only way for women to earn their respect in the decision-making structures in the country, she says.

Dlamini made the comments during an online memorial lecture on Tuesday night in honour of late former ANCWL member and deputy minister Bavelile Hlongwa, who died in a car crash last year.

Hlongwa was lauded by Dlamini as a woman of fortitude who championed women's struggles with courage. It was now for other young women within the ANC to take over that baton and start swelling up the leadership ranks within the party, she said.

To this end, Dlamini said young women in the governing party should prepare to push for no less than three women in the ANC top six at the national conference in 2022 and a young woman leader of the league.

The push, she warned, should not be used to parachute women who are not ready to the top in the name of gender equality.

“We must challenge patriarchy within the ANC and young women must ensure that wherever they are, they make an impact. Women are not just voting fodder — we work very hard in the ANC, and that should be taken and treated that way,” she said.

“Young women must reject inferior status and demand equality ... because others think they are done a favour when they are put in decision-making positions.”

Dlamini said women must accept that patriarchy reigned supreme in SA and take it upon themselves to break its back — including in the workplace, where they needed to be elevated to equal pay for equal work compared to their male colleagues.

“There is patriarchy in South Africa and we know that it hates powerful women because it is always afraid of losing positions,” she said.

“Young women must think about how we are going to make sure that there is transformation in our country.

“No-one must tell our story — we must tell our story. There must be upward mobility for women in the workplace because we know that we perform with excellence. But only men are recognised.” 


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