The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is determined to act tough against the abuse of women and children, says the newly elected IFP Women’s Brigade (IFPWB) Gauteng chair, Samkelisiwe Zungu.
The IFPWB announced at the weekend its newly elected provincial leadership with Zungu as its chair and Lindi Mdluli serving as deputy chairperson. The IFPWB secretary is Silindile Mbatha, deputy secretary Philiswe Mazibuko, party treasurer Goodness Dlamini, and deputy treasurer Nomsa Sibiya.
One of the priorities of the IFPWB is to take part “in tackling issues of gender-based violence and fight for gender equality”.
Zungu said what was of concern was that a number of women did not report cases of abuse or when they did, they eventually “drop the cases”.
“Emotional abuse is more dangerous than physical abuse, so we [are] saying let’s not protect abusive people and [let’s] say no to violence,” said Zungu.
As the country gears up for the kick-off the 16 Days of Activism Against the Abuse of Women and Children campaign, which coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, Zungu said the IFPWB in Gauteng “will convene a meeting by next week where we will come up with [a programme] of action”.
“By voting for the IFP, women in Gauteng would be voting for a party which is determined to act in THE toughest manner against women and children abused,” Zungu said.
Another reason Zungu cited for women to cast their votes in favour of the IFP is that the party “believes in inclusive participation”, which means the women within the party’s ranks are afforded “an opportunity to be deployed to important government leadership positions”.
She added that women’s “voices and concerns” were heard within the party “without any possible sense [of] intimidation” and that by voting IFP, women in the province “would sustain” the party’s “project of championing the emancipation of women”.
“A project [the] party began way before it become popular to fight and advocate for true and meaningful gender equality.”
Zungu said they would focus on building and growing the party in the province, focusing on “strengthening [the] women’s brigade structures in all five districts”, as well as working towards “ensuring that women within the party” were “empowered in terms of leadership skills” and that they could address “socio-economic problems”.
The brigade will also focus on educating girls and boys “on life matters”, focusing on “grooming them” for the future.
“It will be a joint program with [the] provincial youth brigade structure.”
Zungu added that much attention has been given to the upbringing of a girl child while “the boy was neglected, so [there] is a need to include them” in nation-building efforts, “maybe it can help to fight domestic and gender-based violence”.
Zungu has served as a publicity secretary for the IFPWB at district level and has served two terms as a district secretary.
She is currently serving as the chairperson of the sector crime forum at Jeppe Police Station.