As the country continues its month-long campaign to recognize the role that women play in our lives, ANC Youth League Secretary at Harry Gwala Region, Qiniso Mnguni, believes that women are still faced with too many problems, often dying daily in the hands of men because of patriarchy and toxic masculinity.
Mnguni was speaking in an exclusive interview with Vulankungu on Tuesday 9 August, on a public holiday that marks the anniversary of the great 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings, to protest against the carrying of pass books.
“Young women living in rural areas are abducted through ‘ukuthwala’, young women in urban areas are abducted through e-hailing services and many other ways, young women are trafficked, the list of the injustices is very long,” he pointed out.
Mnguni says that the ANC youth league being currently led by women in both the Convener and Coordinator national positions is something commendable, but it is not to suggest that simply electing women is all the plans which the YL has to advance the interests of women.
“We believe this is one of the ways in which we can almost ensure that the Youth League moves ever forward in the emancipation of women,” he added.
Mnguni is calling on men and fellow leaders to constantly submit themselves to “a process of learning and unlearning” in order to make a significant contribution towards turning the lives of women for the better.
“The only way we can lead society away from all the struggles, even the ones we don’t experience, is if we listen and learn.
“Learning is the only way to become the [type of] leader our organisation deserves, this is the contribution we all should make no matter where we are called to serve,” he said.
As far as young women’s contribution goes within the ANC structures, he gives credit to women of yesteryear for relentlessly challenging the status quo to make things possible for todays generation.
Women have always been critical in the life of the African National Congress, the SG says, but as he has argued on many occasions before, there have been and there continues to be systematic and systemic limitations, “and the ANC constantly reviews its policies to counter these limitations”.