Attitutde to women in Africa

The purpose of this Blog is not to comment on the statements of either Zwelinzima Vavi and Kenny Kunene.

But to support Zingiswa Losi for identifying a serious problem.

What role models are young women being given? Are they being drawn into positions of “trophies” – attracted by the perceived need for designer clothes and accessories, and fancy cars?

As trainers, teachers, and academics, and HR people are we adequately promoting the education of women – to study, qualify and pursue their own careers?

Zingiswa Losi, COSATU 2nd Deputy President, 31 October 2010

I totally agree with the decision by the COSATU General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, not to respond to the diatribe by Kenny Kunene – now joined by ANCYL President, Julius Malema. They do not deserve the respect of being taken seriously. They condemn themselves out of their own mouths and have exposed to the world the rotten, immoral world in which these greedy capitalist exploiters live – a decadent sewer of conspicuous consumption.

On behalf of all the women of South Africa, I must however condemn in the strongest terms these men’s attitude to the women who were photographed at the notorious party. These half-naked women are being treated as sex objects – little more than party accessories, to decorate the room and provide some lewd enjoyment to the invited men, as they enjoyed their sushi, champagne and whisky.

It is all too typical of men in privileged positions of wealth and power to treat women with contempt, as lesser beings who are there to be exploited. Until all men recognise all women as equals and treat them with them total respect, we will not be able to say that we have transformed our society. For as long as we still exploit women as objects for the gratification of rich men, we will not be a liberated society.

As the great revolutionary leader Samora Machel said: “Just as the struggle of African women cannot be waged and pursued outside the context of the struggle of our peoples for the liberation and emancipation of our continent, so the freedom of Africa cannot be effective if it does not lead, concretely, to the liberation of the women of Africa”.

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