'SA women live in constant fear'

Angie Motshekga says SA women live in constant fear of being violently attacked.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says women in South Africa live in constant fear of being violently attacked. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says women in South Africa live in constant fear of being violently attacked.

Motshekga was speaking on Thursday as part of a panel discussion on gender based violence at a business briefing hosted by _The New Age _ahead of Women's Day on Friday.

She said a number of men think they have the right to harm women.

"What is it about the way we socialise men around patriarchy that perpetuates this violence? Because it doesn't matter, they would rather go to jail or die, but they [think] they have a right to harm and abuse women."

Motshekga added that men in South Africa think they have the right to harm and murder women from a young age.

"That culture of entitlement starts right there where they grow up knowing that they don't wash dishes and they are the man of the house. By the time they come to school, lots of damage has happened in their families."

Meanwhile, Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana is pushing for better equity for women this Women's Month.

The ministry wants parliament to pass the Women Empowerment and Gender Equity Bill.

Women make up 52 percent of South Africa's population but they are struggling to break through the management glass ceiling at the workplace.

According to a study which was conducted by the Human Strategy for Business, the number of women placed in new positions in South Africa has remained constant at 30 percent of all candidates placed, despite numerous interventions by government.

The study also revealed that there has been little progress at a senior management level for women.

Xingwana has also vowed to tackle gender-based violence in the country and has called for harsher punishment for perpetrators.