As we commemorate Women’s Month and National Women’s Day, the IFP Women’s Brigade (IFPWB) acknowledges the invaluable contributions made by women in all spheres of life. It is therefore my privilege to record my best wishes for a productive and happy Women’s Day to our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, and grandmothers. These women, who make the sacrifices and have the determination to fashion a better life in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Women have always been the perennial ‘light’ of their homes, communities, and society, illuminating the way and giving hope. Sadly, despite myriad campaigns and legislation, the scourge of women abuse continues unabated. The shocking prevalence of women abuse that permeates our communities is a grim reminder that more has to be done to curb this gruesome societal ill. Femicide is still a blight on society, with South Africa being ranked as one of the most dangerous countries in the world for femicide and intimate partner abuse.
This is a scathing indictment on the failure of government and law enforcement to keep vulnerable women safe. We have to amplify our voices against all forms of women abuse. We, as the IFPWB, will continue our relentless fight to advocate for safer spaces for all women. We will also actively champion equality and parity in the workplace.
With so many women living below the breadline, we will continue to encourage an ethos of self-help and self-reliance, as espoused by our founder and President Emeritus, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, to free women from the debilitating shackles of poverty. We salute all women’s groups and women-headed organisations that serve to empower and support women in our communities.
This Women’s Month, it is our fervent hope that all stakeholders commit to tangible action to ensure women are kept safe and are able to thrive. Now, more than ever, with the socio-economic woes that assail our country, more women need to be given the opportunity to be part of the economic and political landscape. Women have the appetite and potential to change it for the better. Let us never forget the valour and determination of our women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 to petition against the country’s pass laws.
As we commemorate this Women’s Month, we pray for an end to the evils of women abuse and femicide, which are far worse than any pandemic. We hope that the significance of this month emboldens women to assume their rightful place in a society that needs their light and grace.
Happy and Blessed Women’s Day and Women’s Month!
Princess Phumzile Buthelezi MPL
IFPWB National Chairperson
073 216 0918