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09 Aug 2004 13:26
President Thabo Mbeki on Monday paid tribute to the role South African women played in the struggle against apartheid.
Addressing a half-full stadium in Witbank, Mbeki said South Africa had to salute every woman who contributed to the country’s liberation.
“We must look and see at what our women leaders did and what it is that we must do to follow in their footsteps.”
Mbeki said Parliament has yet to catch up with that of Rwanda where 50% of MPs are women.
He said business was also not moving fast enough to address the issue of gender equality.
“There are not enough women managers and not enough women board members. Even with black empowerment, the majority of benefits are felt by men, yet the majority of our people are women.”
Mbeki saluted Miss Deaf World Candice Morgan who is working for the rights of disabled people.
“Women like Candice are following in the footsteps of the women who fought for our liberation.
We must all contribute to this effort to change the lives of people and the lives of women for the better.”
Women ministers, including the Minister of Public Works Stella Sigcau and Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs Thoko Didiza joined a band in singing a song, paying a tribute to South African women before Mbeki addressed the crowd.
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