Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sex and politics in South Africa

A demand that all government offices be filled equally by women and men is roiling the Republic of South Africa.
Earlier this month in Pretoria, "[h]undreds of women brought traffic in the capital to a standstill" as "they marched ... to hand over a memorandum demanding an equal gender representation in all state sectors." Among those who voiced their support for the proposal was the country's Minister of Communications, Dr. Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri (left), who urged the crowd: "Let's work collectively and confront hierarchy, no compromise and no going back."
The 50-50 proposal seems now to have fallen prey to the power struggle between factions of the African National Congress. Among those in the midst of that struggle is Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (right). Appointed the 1st woman Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Republic by President Thabo Mbeki, she is a reputed candidate to succeed Mbeki, and also the ex-wife of Mbeki's rival, Jacob Zuma. At a public meeting yesterday Dlamini-Zuma slammed opponents of the equity plan. Her core point in favor of equity:

Women in the majority of countries, if not in all, form more than half the population. And they produced the other half.

1 comment:

Prince Hamilton said...

What is happening in Africa now shows that no society is stagnant. The African society gave a woman the right to lead in a public arena as much as men long before the West could even think of emancipating theirs. Examples are the Mwami of Rwanda and the Modjadji V of South Africa traditionally called the Rain Queen who were leading their villages in the 1800s long before feminism even showed its marriage breaking head world wide.
The disappearance of female emancipation could even be attributed to colonialism that regarded man power more than female power. In the course of this ill, the need to increase male children increased and that tacitly implanted male chauvinism and deracinated the influence of the woman.
Ethnocentric Christianity also took away egalitarianism in Africa. When the missionaries came to Africa with the gospel they could not fathom a man and a woman being equal because it was against the Bible. Little did they realize they were transporting Jewish culture into Africa; thereby destroying the dominant culture. The solution is to revert to their roots and it shall be well with them.