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  |  Affiliates Press Statements

NUM Women's Structure Press Statement on Women's Day

8 August 2017

August the 9th commemorates the 1956 march organised by Federation of South African Women (FSAW) led by four remarkable women; the likes of Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Josephs, Sophia Du Bryn and Rahima Moosa. The 20 000 women who embarked on a successful march to abolish Pass Laws; they had given the then Prime Minister petitions against carrying of passes by women.

Our existence as NUM Women Structure is derived from these remarkable women centered struggles as defined within the Class of 1956. They have left a baton; ours is to take it and soldier on taking the struggle to its highest heights. The challenges that are faced by women are continuous without finding any recognisable stance within our society.

Therefore, women are still swimming in the pool of triple oppression; with workplaces that are immune to the transformation agenda. However, women have a responsibility to take the spear and walk the path of our heroines. We have all the resources at our disposal unlike the Class of 1956, we need to forge unity and fight triple oppression and exclusion of women as role players within our economy and within all centres of power.

The NUM women structure present opportunities to integrate women in the workplace as well as to transform holistically. Curbing the scourge of gender blindness at work and in the trade union movement is another imperative role that women must take charge off taking cognisance of the increasing number of sexual harassment occurring in our workplaces which are seen to underestimate the power of women and undermine the continued strides offered by the current policies to ensure women are treated fairly in our work environment.

In August this year, the NUM women structure celebrated Women's month with heavy hearts, finding the increase in the number of abused women in various forms and realising that women right are treated less of this assertion "women right are human rights". Women are still faced with challenges in all aspects of life, at work if it not a glass ceiling its sexual harassment and rape, in the society women are punching bags especially the unemployed.

The working class has a daunting task in making sure that women rights are recognised as human rights. Not in our names that, in this era of democracy women are still oppressed, still treated as beneficiaries and are compelled to grant sexual favours to be recognised. We call upon our leaders to join South African working class women in countering all forms of abuse against women, children within our society to enable "women, united in moving South Africa forward".

We, therefore demand equality, empowerment and skills redistribution to recognise women's potential within our workplaces, we also urge our male counterparts to mentor, ensure skills and knowledge transfer as well as work with women to discourage the continued social stereotypes.

Phumeza Mgengo: NUM Women's Structure National Secretary: 076 359 4268

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