“When you empower a girl, you empower a community,” says Good party leader Patricia de Lille in her women’s parliament 2019 speech.
This was the first women’s parliament of the sixth administration and it was to respond to the rising incidents of gender-based violence in the country.
Here is De Lille’s speech in seven powerful quotes:
Women murdered in Women’s Month
“The scourge of violence against women and children and femicide is astonishing and an utter disgrace in a country where women led and took up the fight for justice and fairness for all South Africans.
“We tend to make a point of mentioning that it is even sadder that some women’s lives are brutally ended in Women’s Month but what does the month even mean, what are we celebrating when this is happening to our women every single day?”
“The Women’s Charter states under article 2 that at all times the law and its application, interpretation, adjudication and enforcement shall promote and ensure the practical realisation of equality for women.
“My sisters … That is not happening. We have laws in this country but my call is that either we need new laws or current laws need to be amended to be more explicit in how we deal with these cowards who are raping and killing our women and children.”
Enough is enough
“When an innocent child gets hit in a crossfire and her lifeless body is found still with her skipping rope in her hand, we all need to look at ourselves and say that enough is enough.
“We have failed our women and it is time for us all to come together and deal with this once and for all.”
Fighting for rights
“It is also no use that only women take a stand against femicide and gang violence in our country.
“You don’t have to be black to fight racism, you don’t have to be gay to fight homophobia, you don’t have to be a woman to fight for equality and women’s rights.”
Killing of women and children
“These men and boys who are killing women and children are the ones who are raised by our women who become the very victims of the men they raised.
“As we raise little boys, we must teach young boys about respect, responsibility, about equality and the value and power of women to help them build successful and loving homes.”
Policing is not enough
“A few weeks ago, the army was deployed in the gang-ridden areas on the Cape Flats but experience, the crime stats and the bodies piling up have shown us that policing is not enough.
“We need an army of social workers, we need an army of men and women to raise our sons to see women as equals and partners in building this country and ridding it of these crimes.”
The women from 1956
“We can talk for 25 more years, we can host a summit every week, but until we act, we will keep talking, we will keep feeling disgusted and we will keep seeing these appalling crimes.
“The women from 1956 bravely took action for the freedom we have today. That is the courage and will that we must emulate.”
BY UNATHI NKANJENI- TimesLIVE
Source: TMG Digital