South Africa has made great progress in advancing women’s equality and much of the progress is owed to the vision and ideals of the many women who drafted the Women’s Charter and those women activists who marched to the Union Buildings, North West MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Desbo Mohono said in Mahikeng on Thursday.
“Today the women our country are beneficiaries of a strong economy, a progressive constitution, massive service delivery in terms of access to water, sanitation, housing, electricity, land, agrarian reform and to major improvements to the education system,” said MEC Mohono who received a recognition award on behalf of Premier Modise who was honoured by Mahikeng Local Municipality for her role in contribution towards the emancipation of women.
Mohono said that Premier Modise was a tried and tested leader who was among the first women to join Umkhonto We Sizwe (MK), saying that the province was blessed to have a leader of her calibre, who is serious about empowering women, especially the poor and unemployed.
In handing the recognition award, the Executive Mayor of Mahikeng Local Municipality, Councillor Lena Miga said that Premier Modise had distinguished herself as a visionary leader.
“She has also demonstrated bravery during the struggle for liberation starting from the time when she joined MK at 18 and surviving harsh conditions in prison. She has consistently fought and continues to fight for the empowerment of women,” stressed Miga.
Other women who received awards for their remarkable roles were veteran struggle Saane Bertrent who was recognised for her role in the political struggle, Thabethe Matlhodi who received the award for Women in Community Development, Dr Khakhane Leballo for Women in Health and Dudu Maragelo for the category Women in Business.
The event was organised under the banner, “A centenary of Working Together Towards Sustainable Women Empowerment” also included the signing of the Women’s Charter.
Amongst the eight cardinal point of the charter were the right to vote and to be elected to all state bodies without restriction or discrimination, and the right to full opportunities of employment with equal pay and possibilities of promotion in all spheres of work.
One of the over four thousand women who attended the event, Alina Nkate, 50, of Nooitgedacht said she was delighted that she was able to attend. “It’s my very first time in such a celebration where it’s only us women. What I am taking home from this gathering is that when you have a problem you must go to other women, women must help each other. They must not oppress each other,” she said.
In her vote of thanks Representative of the North West House of Traditional Leadership, Kgosi Anthea Seatlholo said the women that were being recognised had distinguished themselves as women of substance and appealed to women to stop competing against each other instead of helping one another.
“The pulling down syndrome must stop now. We tend to only think of ourselves. Successful women must bring others up,” said Kgosi Seatlholo who also appealed for the pledge to be translated in Setswana so that other women who do not understand English could comprehend its essence.
Lesiba Moses Kgwele
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