Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights For An Equal Society Now

Posted in: on 23/08/2020 | Categorised as ,

  1. Greetings Hon.members, as women legislators, we are referred to as Honorable because we are supposed to reflect model human beings in terms of self-discipline and virtuous living.
  2. The question we should be asking is “What ails human civilization in the 21st century? What has become of our values and morals? Why are women not given their due? Why are family values deteriorating?
  3. Do we lack dynamic ethical leadership? Politically, much has gone wrong for women.
  4. Hon.members, Gender- based discrimination sadly starts from the womb where female fetuses are aborted as girls are considered a burden in many communities still. South Africa has given the world many heroines to celebrate, who remain an eternal symbol of life-giving energy that integrates our people, communities, and nations. The feminine force, Hon.Speaker is massive, all encompassing against the continuing backdrop of a largely patriarchal world. For these reasons, the MF makes the following recommendations:
    1.  In terms of the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998, the current statute has no specific definition of “harm” and there’s poor understanding of the social context of domestic violence amongst state agents;
      – Most courts do not have electronic record keeping of domestic violence orders, leading to inefficiencies.
      These must be corrected NOW as women feel abused at home and by a system which is paper-rich but practice-poor.
    2. In terms of protection of women who’ve murdered an abusive partner, the MF calls on the courts through the Legislature to recognize the concept of “ battered-women syndrome” which is a psychologically proven defense for killing an abusive partner.
    3. In terms of rape; Under the Sexual Offences Amendment Act of 2007, the focus of the enquiry into consent is shifted away from the victim to the conduct of the accused and surrounding circumstances, which is welcomed but the judiciary has generally failed to move away from the outdated approaches.Therefore, the National Assembly must draft guidelines to aid our judiciary in conforming with the requirements of the law.
  5. Community is important, Hon.members. We need to mainstream gender justice in schools, to raise feminist consciousness in teenage boys, encouraging them to recognize patriarchal privilege as wrong, interrogate it and work to change it. This is “urvashi shania concept” and must be adopted in schools. Furthermore, gas-lighting is a prevalent form of abuse in South Africa. We must empower women to recognize it, deal with it and put women in a position of strength.
  6. This Women’s month, the MF awaits a new civilization, post COVID-19, a civilization of harmony, peace, and progress. Now, is the time for women’s voices and contribution to grow from strength to strength.
  7. Thank you.

MODE: Virtual Sitting: Women’s Parliament Debate
TIME: 2 minutes
Speaker: Mrs Sunitha Maharaj


Date: Fri 7 Aug 2020

Word Count: 447 Words

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