Mbeki focuses on fighting crimes against women

The South African government will look more closely at crimes against women, President Thabo Mbeki told a national Women’s Day event in the Northern Cape on Thursday.

Mbeki said the government and the Presidential Women’s Working Group had agreed to look at the issue in a ”more detailed and specific fashion”.

”We will ask the police to prepare a detailed presentation on violence against women, including where it is mostly affecting them, whether in their homes, entertainment areas, places of work and others.”

Addressing thousands of women at Kimberley’s Galeshewe Stadium, Mbeki made no mention of his controversial dismissal of Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge on Wednesday.

Mbeki said girl-child education should get special attention from the family and not be left to the school system.

”We believe that, as the basic unit of society, the family unit must play a critical role in the education and upbringing of girls and young women,” said Mbeki.

”Mothers, fathers, the home and the community must play a critical role in teaching and guiding young girls around issues such as teenage pregnancy, safe sex and Aids.”

Women on farms would also in future get more attention. Mbeki said the government agreed that many female farm workers did not know their rights and that ”special attention” be given to ”this important part of our working class”.

To loud applause he also announced the launch of a Women Entrepreneurs’ Fund. This would help women get finance to start their own businesses.

Mbeki paid tribute to the country’s ”unsung heroines” who led the fight for equality, freedom and justice. — Sapa

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