Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma yesterday said women should cast their vote in favour of the governing African National Congress to ensure they “are fully emancipated”.
Dlamini-Zuma, who currently serves as minister: planning, monitoring and evaluation, said this after she cast her special vote at Compensation, KwaDukuza (Stanger) in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday.
Dlamini-Zuma said, in general, out of all the political parties in South Africa, the ANC has been the one to champion women’s rights, gender sensitive issues and non-sexism.
“In the Constitution we have an equality clause [and] in the ANC itself, in its constitution, we say that 50% of the holders of office should be [women].
“Even when we elect parliamentarians, 50% of parliamentarians should be women,” Dlamini-Zuma said.
This, she said, would ensure that the laws passed are sensitive to gender issues and those women parliamentarians would “push” for laws that would protect women’s rights.
“It was the women in parliament who worked, obviously with all parliamentarians, to make sure the [child] maintenance laws also are there which were not strong before,” Dlamini-Zuma said.
These laws, she said, would not only protect women’s rights but ensure that children and their parents “are taken care of”.
“It is the ANC that has ensured that children under six have free healthcare, pregnant women have healthcare. It is the ANC that has ensured that women have paid maternity leave for women – four months. That was not there before,” she said.
The rolling out of electricity for the majority of South Africans by the ANC government benefitted women, in particular those based in rural areas in that they no longer had to fetch firewood for stoves.
“It is the ANC that is making sure that the people get water because it is the women and the girl child who has to go and fetch water if there is none where they live,” Dlamini-Zuma said.
The establishment of Thuthuzela Care Centres – one-stop facilities for rape victims – under the ANC government was further evidence that the governing party champions gender sensitive issues and women’s rights, she said.
Dlamini-Zuma said all of this demonstrates that the governing party has the rights of women and children at heart.
“Women’s votes for the ANC will be votes to ensure that eventually women in this country are fully emancipated,” she said.